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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Rules

Subject: Anti-Matter vs. the Virus rss

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Jonathan Heitler
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Today we had the situation where both the anti-matter and the virus were playing and were trying to work out what it meant when they were the opponents in a challenge. In the end we figured the fairest way was to say that the virus divided the attack card by the number of its ships (and then subtracted any allying ships) in such encounters.

I was wondering if there was any official ruling on this situation or what other groups would do.
 
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Mark W
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What CaptainCosmic said.

It's funny - people balk at the virus being overpowered and unbalanced, then an alien comes along who can kick its ass, but wait! That can't possibly be right! Would someone please think of the poor virus?

Just think of Virus as extreeeeme (but not always)!
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Big Head Zach
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NeonPeon wrote:
What CaptainCosmic said.

It's funny - people balk at the virus being overpowered and unbalanced, then an alien comes along who can kick its ass, but wait! That can't possibly be right! Would someone please think of the poor virus?

Just think of Virus as extreeeeme (but not always)!


Indeed. The power of Virus is its greatest weakness against any alien whose power allows them to also change the way in which battle totals are calculated.

Loser: Declare upset. If Virus does a good job of maintaining a power hand, he'll find it hard to lose to you.

Spiff: Attack the most defended planet. 4 ships x anything is likely to give you that 10 point spread you want!

Mirror: Your power makes you almost an equal match with Virus as far as the totals you can generate, but requires you have a better grasp of what Virus's hand contains - because an 0X card just makes the defeat worse if he plays one - and he's generally less concerned about having low Attacks than other powers.

Calculator: Results are too unpredictable. Your only chance would be to ensure your card is equal to, or 1-2 less than Virus's, reducing his multiplier to manageable levels.

Pacifist: Arguably, more than a match for Virus, if his hand's right. (Pacifist N beats 160.)

Warrior: Becomes a threat in the late game, even for Virus (while Virus can put up bigger numbers than even a sufficiently-leveled-up Warrior, those numbers will dwindle as he loses ships from home due to failed alliances, and other ship-losing effects that are targetable...you are targeting him with those, aren't you?).

Amoeba: Too much of a risk used offensively. Your power should be used to duck out of Virus confrontations entirely unless Virus is noticeably weak.

Fodder/Reserve: Too dependent on the strength of your hand, and deprives you of good "planning" cards for later encounters if you end up spamming them against Virus. If Virus plays 40, chances are you won't have enough Attack cards to beat an average defense of 80 with either power.

Human: Have a Cosmic Zap. You know, that card that appears TWICE in a deck of 55? I call this strategy "Going All-In Before The Flop."

Shadow: With Shadow in the game, everyone will be double or triple-reinforcing their foreign colonies. Every ship you remove from a Virus colony is a sizeable weakening of position, even if it doesn't remove a colony - so target the same colony repeatedly, then attack it!

Citadel: Only to defend against Virus, really - and that's a waste of decent cards you could use attacking enemies other than Virus. (though having the Flare does allow you some very interesting alliance offers: "Invite me on offense, and I'll turn the AA-guns inward.")

Gambler: "I played an Attack....161?" (Only good against newbie players, or if you play with custom wacky decks - not that the designers have ever done something like introduce an Attack 101...that's IMPOSSIBLE to see in the online version...*grumble*)

Masochist: Virus is a sadist. Get it?

Tripler: Your best Attack is a 30, which beats a 4-ship Virus playing an Attack 7...nah.

Void: If Void isn't doing his darndest to take Virus out, accuse him either of 1) kingmaking, or 2) stacking the Destiny deck. If they are a new player, be kinder and take them aside like you would a child that found Santa's presents in your closet.

Warpish: Every time Virus wipes the floor with someone, even you, your supreme unholy army of Deadites grows. Sally foraachh *jaw falls off*

There, I'm done.

(EDIT: You would not believe the fever I had when I wrote this. So much so that I forgot I was working on a Paranoia PbP game as well and the word "laser" was well on my mind.)
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Jon Gon
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Almost everything has been said, I just want to point out one basic strategy that hasn’t been mentioned.
When Virus is the offensive player against Anti-Matter he should send only one ship (in fact this applies to all other powers too). This makes him face Anti-Matter in the same basic conditions as any other power (multiplying his attack card by one).

Virus is only in big trouble when he’s the defensive main player against Anti-Matter, but even so, anything can happen like CaptainCosmic pointed out.

Interaction between powers is what Cosmic is all about.

 
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mar hawkman
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Some versions had -attack cards for situations like this. virus with a -5 is hard to beat(by antimatter anyways)
 
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Jonathan Heitler
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NeonPeon wrote:
What CaptainCosmic said.

It's funny - people balk at the virus being overpowered and unbalanced, then an alien comes along who can kick its ass, but wait! That can't possibly be right! Would someone please think of the poor virus?

Just think of Virus as extreeeeme (but not always)!


Hmmm. No, that's not why I asked the question. I just wanted to understand how these situations were viewed by the other playing groups - where it seems that one alien has an almost guaranteed win in a 'fair' fight.

I have played many, many games from the first edition and we found that playing the virus was often the hardest alien of all to win when playing with people who really understood the game.

I haven't played, though, for many years and I had finally managed to persuade my family to at least try the game and they went a bit loopy at the thought that the anti-matter would, apparently, always win. Hence the question.

I absolutely love this game and my recent replays of it (after about 20 years of CE starvation) has not changed my opinion.

And I think you are all right, just play the aliens as they are written. I'll bear that in mind in the future.
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