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Subject: Four Important New Cards rss

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Eric Jome
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There are a lot of new changes in Rebel vs Imperium, but some of them really stand out. First, the size of the deck has really increased; this means you are less likely to have a predictable pattern or see things you've discarded earlier. Second, the balance of strategies has shifted again, opening up new doors and ramping up the complexity. Third, there's some of the cards themselves. While the set has it's share of single powerful cards, four in particular stand out as very significant in my opinion.

R&D Crash Program

In the grand scheme of things, this will eventually be the most influential single card in the set. Why? Because it offers an early gateway to some of the power developments at cost 6. In the past, 6 cost developments were primarily viewed as point scoring, strategy informing midgame cards. While they often had good abilities, it was hard to make good use of several of them because it was a challenge to get them down in the first place. Now, with this tool, you can start one in your opening hand and have it in play turn 2... turn 1 in advanced play. That can be a big deal with the right combination.

But then, the really amazing thing is that you don't have to rush. Because, it's got a very servicable ability as is... in fact, it might be worth it for that alone. Discarding a card to draw a card in phase IV tinkers with the fundamental balance of cards as cost paying fodder versus cards you want to play. Now all uninspiring cards in hand can be a new chance at something better at no cost... all while waiting for your big score on a cheap high end development.

Galactic Advertisers

The game has taken an increasing turn to favoring tableau developing strategies and away from consumption over time. This is good; consumption is rather dull to play against... and a bit too powerful too. Enter into the game something for one of the main competitive branches for consumption, developments. And, it's the perfect leech - free cards. While you were powering your research with the occasional trade in the past (now a tick up with this), you were often short on cards, having to break into other strategic areas to get your fix.

But not anymore. Now, you can just get cards. And since the development strategy is based on discounts, just a few cards pays big dividends.

Galactic Salon

Did I just say something about free? Because in the event your development based strategy wasn't scoring you enough against those consumption based tableaus, now you've got a tool to cash in too. Free points... heck, double them with Consume * 2 if you want. For no goods... that's very handy, not the least because you're going to get paid every consume, not limited to waiting for a handy Production to set the ball in motion.

But then, there's a neat reverse angle on this too. If you are the consumer facing a developer, it's often hard to justify putting something down on their develops. You are after goods after all. But here's a target you can bite into, something you can even cash in on the turn it hits the board.

Trading Outpost

The new Explore power is really monumental. If you have a hefty hand, digging deep with +5 now means you can reconfigure your entire set of options. So, that's a welcome addition on this very cheap, very easy world.

But why stop there? Because you're getting a big boost to your Trade engine here, which you'll probably be using to power just about anything you do. In such an economical package, you can get this down very early indeed and start reaping the benefits right away - a really amazing card for Alpha Centauri or Ancient Race to be sure if someone else gives you a Settle out of the gate. But then, think what it does for humble little Earth's Lost Colony. That boring old novelty good achieves genetic status on the sale... and you've broken the curve right away with Damaged Alien Factory.

In conclusion

These four new cards really stand out as useful cards in the set because they are generic, cheap, useful, and profitable. Earlier is generally better for all, but no matter what you might be doing, they're likely to contribute in a meaningful way.

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While not always cheap (it certainly can be), I think I'd want to throw Pan-Galactic Research onto this list too. If nothing else, this thing lets you leech well every turn. It also works well with Most Developments Goal and Power in All Phases Goal.
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Philip Thomas
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I think Galactic Advertisers works better as part of a trading strategy than a pure development strategy. Couple it with Trading Post and you're drawing 6 cards per trade minimum.
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Francisco Colmenares
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This was with just TGS but I once managed to trade a blue for 10 cards!
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Alan
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While I love R&D, don't overlook the loss of tempo. Using it to plunk down a 6 can put you behind for Expansion Leader and in quick games (especially 2p advanced), the tempo loss can be annoying.

Galactic Advertisers is one of my favorite new cards. With it down, I'm no longer as annoyed for missing speculative consume/trades. The leeching is so sweet it's like candy.

Galactic Salon fills a very nice hole.

I don't find Trading Outpost to be quite the powerhouse you describe. It's very nice, no question there, but it doesn't combo with enough to catch my interest. It's more of an enabler, helping explores and trades, than a contributor to an overall strategy. It can help you figure out what your strategy is, but it won't help you actually implement it.

Then again, all of the cards you chose are enablers rather than cornerstones. It seems like any "best of" cards will necessarily be generic unless you relate the cards to specific strategies. And there's the rub -- while all of these cards are excellent in a void or in relation to many strategies, none of them will serve as a foundation nor will they directly contribute to your overall strategy (exception for Galactic Salon & consume-produce engines).

Nice list, though.
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Dave J McWeasely
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TheMadVulcan wrote:
While not always cheap (it certainly can be), I think I'd want to throw Pan-Galactic Research onto this list too. If nothing else, this thing lets you leech well every turn. It also works well with Most Developments Goal and Power in All Phases Goal.
PGR tops my list for most powerful new card as well. It should have cost 7.
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Kester J
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Alan Stern wrote:
I don't find Trading Outpost to be quite the powerhouse you describe. It's very nice, no question there, but it doesn't combo with enough to catch my interest. It's more of an enabler, helping explores and trades, than a contributor to an overall strategy. It can help you figure out what your strategy is, but it won't help you actually implement it.


This is largely my opinion of Trading Outpost too. It's not nearly as flexible as the other cards cosine mentions. It works well with a deficit spending strategy, and is decent early if you're planning to settle rush with Improved Logistics. It also has the benefit that it pays for itself immediately if you've called trade this turn and have nothing better to settle. Otherwise it suffers from not scoring well, and having neither goods nor consume powers, which makes it feel like a bit of a waste of a settle.
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Eric Jome
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Kester wrote:
This is largely my opinion of Trading Outpost too.


I think that the community of players collective strategy thinking has yet to effectively consider the implications of the new Explore power. Trading Outpost isn't just awesome for the trade power (which is, btw, the best in the game), but really because of what it also offers - this new ability.

Consider you have a hand of 4 cards. Someone else plays Explore. You have no add ons. You'll be keeping the best 5 of 6 cards. That's not too bad...

And if you see +1 from say any one of the 3 starting worlds that offer at least that, you're getting best 5 of 7.

And now, let's say you are playing Explore +1/+1, previously considered only an option during the beginning of the game when you can count on others to play the phases you really wanted... now you are getting the best 6 of 8 cards (or best 6 of 7 without at least +1).

And let's say instead you play Explore +5. That's best 5 out of 11! That's much, much better than a Trade in terms of getting you a great hand of cards.

Honestly, over time, I expect nothing will change the game more than the new Explore power. No single card will, anyway. And this card is a very cheap way to get it that also goes right to the core card drawing method of many of the strategies, trading.

To me, Trading Outpost seems simply amazing.
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Eric, we discussed my view on the Explore phase in general at length so I won't belabor the point, other than to say that I agree that the new Explore power is a big deal. I also went so far in another post to say that every card with this power would still be worth playing even if they didn't have it.

But, I think Alan and Kester are looking at Trading Outpost a little more holistically. A few things to consider:

Unlike almost every other power in the game, the new Explore Power doesn't stack.

While the trade power really is nice, there are a lot of cards with a trade power and there aren't a lot of card eating powers. Basically, a great trade can end up being a lot like the new Explore power. You get to pick and choose what you're keeping, but you still discard down to 10 at the end of the turn.

During Middle and Late game, neither power is quite as useful. Explore+5 with the new power can still be nice, but if you don't have most of the pieces of your strategy by now, you're probably going to lose any way.

It's only worth 1 point, 2 with Prospecting Guild or Trade League, and 3 with SETI, but that's it. Almost every other card has more potential. Galactic Advertisers and Salon are both good for tableau points and 6-dev combos. R&D is a pretty clear exception. It's not going to be in your tableau at the end of the game.


So, overall, I really do like Trading Outpost. It is a great early card in many situations. But outside of that, it isn't quite as good as it seems at first. Not that it doesn't belong on this list. I think it does, but I think this is what the other guys were saying.
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The best time I found to use that explore power, I found, was when you have a fist full of cards that are crappy. I love the power, but I usually only use it once or twice a game. When I do use it, however, it's amazing.

The flaw when you say it's the best 5 of 6 cards, is that it is true, it's the best 5 of 6, however you would only have lost 1 "good" card if you didn't have that power. It only really becomes incredible when you have lots of looks, because you have more "virtual draws".

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to settle Trading Outpost, but it's a support card, like Abandoned Alien Uplift Camp and Alien Rosetta Stone World.
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Jorge Montero
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Yes, it's a support card, byt it's a much more flexible support card than either of those two.

AAUC is only very useful when you start with a very low military. With Spaces Marines or New Sparta on the board, its power only helps with under half a dozen cards.

ARSW also relies on aliens, but at least there's more high cost alien cards that it helps you reach.

The Trading Outpost helps anyone that plans to ever trade, or ever explore drawing more than 3 cards. That's a way higher percentage of board positions. It's the same as comparing Merchant Guild and Terraforming Guild: They have about the same power in the best case scenario, but 75% of the time you'll get higher VP and card bonuses with the Terraformers.
 
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Alan
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cosine wrote:
I think that the community of players collective strategy thinking has yet to effectively consider the implications of the new Explore power. Trading Outpost isn't just awesome for the trade power (which is, btw, the best in the game), but really because of what it also offers - this new ability.

Yes, but other cards have this wonderful explore power, too. I often develop Rebel Pact just for this power. I'd rather save my settles either for worlds that advance my strategy or worlds that have the explore power and are otherwise useful (see Gem Smugglers).

hibikir wrote:
Yes, it's a support card, byt it's a much more flexible support card than either of those two.

AAUC is only very useful when you start with a very low military. With Spaces Marines or New Sparta on the board, its power only helps with under half a dozen cards.

I think you underestimate AAUC. Previously, there were only 2 ways to get out the 2-cost uplift military windfalls -- actual military and Contact Specialist (CS). With takeovers, a weak military can be dangerous. If I'm going "green" and have the uplift windfalls, I'd rather use CS or AAUC to get them down. With 3 green 6 devs (including Uplift Code) and tons of below-3-cost green windfalls, AAUC is nothing to be sneezed at.

I won't argue ARSW (nice but much narrower utility).
 
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Gal. Advertisers is hands down one of my favorite devs. It's very "leechable" and practical. The fact that it's +1 for Trade and just draw a card straight up during IV makes it even more flexible than Trading Outpost's +2 when $ing. You get an extra card even if you're not trading anything.

Galactic Salon. In a 6p game, someone played this early in the game. I thought it was a nice move since 1) Trade gets called a fair amount, so that's some nice free points there and 2) Galactic Standard Of Living was also one of the 1st goals. Looking at what I had an other people's tableaux, it was unlikely that anyone would be able to tie or beat that player for that 1st goal. Trade ended up getting called five times before anyone had anything set up, so in effect, it got him at least 8pts.

After the game, he looked back and thought he shouldn't have built it. It costed him too much loss in tempo and holding off on other cards that he may have been better off pursing that other path instead.


colmenarez wrote:
This was with just TGS but I once managed to trade a blue for 10 cards!
Yeah, that's one subtlety that newbies don't notice about this game, and that is the balance between the colors.

Blue goods when traded/sold only gives you 2 cards. Yellow gives you 5. However, there aren't any trade bonuses that give you extra cards for only yellow goods when selling them. OTOH, there are plenty of trade bonuses for blue goods only that'll do that. Case in point... Sell a blue good from Pirate World to get +3, Distant World gets you another +3 for blue, Spice World to add +2, and Galactic Bazaar for +1. All of that means selling a blue gets you 11 cards! If you were to sell a yellow good with no other trade bonuses, that yellow would only get you 5 cards! Plus, those trade bonuses would also apply to blue goods as well since again, yellow goods have no exclusive trade powers.

On the flipside, yellow worlds are among the most expensive in the game. Blue worlds are among the cheapest. However, with discounts such as Alien Tech Institute, Deserted Alien World, and Alien Rosetta Stone World, practically all yellow worlds of military and non-military variety will be free. Blue nonmilitary worlds on the other hand you WILL need to pay for them, as all those yellow Settle bonuses of course do not apply towards any other type of world.



Similar to Puerto Rico where newbies see corn and they gag b/c corn only gets you 0 doubloons (1 with privilage). Corn can still be sold for up to $4 with a Small Market, Large Market, and privelige. However, corn is a powerhouse with the Captain role. Coffee you can only get 2 of, per Craftsman role, but it gets you mucho $$.



Alan Stern wrote:
While I love R&D, don't overlook the loss of tempo. Using it to plunk down a 6 can put you behind for Expansion Leader and in quick games (especially 2p advanced), the tempo loss can be annoying.
Agreed. R&D Crash Program, for all practical intents and purposes is like Col. Ship or Doomed World for development cards. You still need to supplement a free 6-cost dev with other dev discounts to get it for free, but even then, paying only 2 for a 6-cost can really tip the game into your favor. It's extra IV power of "exchanging a card from your hand" is small, but possibly helpful, like DW's +1 look, or the fact that Col. Ship is pretty cheap to build.

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Alan Stern wrote:

hibikir wrote:
Yes, it's a support card, byt it's a much more flexible support card than either of those two.

AAUC is only very useful when you start with a very low military. With Spaces Marines or New Sparta on the board, its power only helps with under half a dozen cards.

I think you underestimate AAUC. Previously, there were only 2 ways to get out the 2-cost uplift military windfalls -- actual military and Contact Specialist (CS). With takeovers, a weak military can be dangerous. If I'm going "green" and have the uplift windfalls, I'd rather use CS or AAUC to get them down. With 3 green 6 devs (including Uplift Code) and tons of below-3-cost green windfalls, AAUC is nothing to be sneezed at.

I won't argue ARSW (nice but much narrower utility).

Abandoned Alien Uplift Camp is pretty much a carbon copy of Deserted Alien World, but towards green instead of yellow. It's as cheap as DAW too. Nice thing about this card and the whole system is that green worlds are (probably, didn't confirm this yet) the 2nd most expensive worlds in the game (not counting the upper tier Rebels since I'm sticking with just colored worlds), so any discounts and military towards them is useful.

As hinted, green worlds have the bonus that you can use Contact Spec. or Rebel Cantina to pay for green military worlds. The settle discount works well with those 2 worlds. For yellow, that's not even an option b/c RC and CS won't work with yellow worlds.
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Galactic Salon and Galactic Advertisers, combined with some existing cards, make a PURE consumption strategy viable. In one game, I had salon, advertisers, and New Economy. I was calling consume x2 without any goods every turn, for 2 cards and 2 points, which is really quite good considering I was getting them every turn for free and my opponents can't leach at all because they need goods to leach off of consume.

The same principle can be applied to develop. My brother made a very effective strategy with Galactic Developers and Intergalatic Bank. He would double develop every turn for some card flow, even if he had no developments to play. The fact that he could dump any development he drew into his tableau without even having to divert his attention was just an extra bonus. Of course, that also gave me the chance to develop whenever I wanted without calling it, but I didn't have any develop powers, so there was no way to keep up anyway.
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Galactic Salon and Galactic Advertisers, combined with some existing cards, make a PURE consumption strategy viable. In one game, I had salon, advertisers, and New Economy. I was calling consume x2 without any goods every turn, for 2 cards and 2 points, which is really quite good considering I was getting them every turn for free and my opponents can't leach at all because they need goods to leach off of consume.
Pair this with Deficit Spending and you can sustainable get 4vp/turn.
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Alan Stern wrote:
While I love R&D, don't overlook the loss of tempo. Using it to plunk down a 6 can put you behind for Expansion Leader and in quick games (especially 2p advanced), the tempo loss can be annoying.

Galactic Advertisers is one of my favorite new cards. With it down, I'm no longer as annoyed for missing speculative consume/trades. The leeching is so sweet it's like candy.

Galactic Salon fills a very nice hole.

I don't find Trading Outpost to be quite the powerhouse you describe. It's very nice, no question there, but it doesn't combo with enough to catch my interest. It's more of an enabler, helping explores and trades, than a contributor to an overall strategy. It can help you figure out what your strategy is, but it won't help you actually implement it.

Then again, all of the cards you chose are enablers rather than cornerstones. It seems like any "best of" cards will necessarily be generic unless you relate the cards to specific strategies. And there's the rub -- while all of these cards are excellent in a void or in relation to many strategies, none of them will serve as a foundation nor will they directly contribute to your overall strategy (exception for Galactic Salon & consume-produce engines).

Nice list, though.
There is something very wrong and very awesome with this post.
 
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