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Subject: Rules Questions that Arose in Our First Game rss

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Ben Stanley
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I own the new Fantasy Flight version, but only last night got my first chance to play and none of us had played before.

1. Someone pulled the Tick-Tock (sp?) Flare (it was included in the Cosmic Deck on accident, as we were trying to play with all "green" flares and aliens, but that's beside the point). The wild flare of the card allows you to take a free colony whenever "the deck" is shuffled. This ambiguity is monumental, because there are at least TWO decks, each with their own discard (even when you aren't using technology cards, there is still both a cosmic deck and a destiny deck). How do people around here choose to interpret that card? Applies whenever the Cosmic deck is shuffled only? Only the Destiny Deck? Either one?

2. Clarification and confirmation: Just in general with Flares, is it impossible to hold onto them? If I have my very own flare, with its cool super power that was intended specifically for me, I can take the card back into my hand when I use the flare, but as soon as I no longer have an encounter card, I have to surrender my entire hand to draw eight new cards, thus losing my flare and any artifacts that I was not able to use yet, or whatever else I might wish I could keep? And is that drawing of a new hand strictly mandatory, even on defense? Or could I forgo playing an encounter card on defense?

3. The wild effect on the Trader Flare allows you to steal a card and give up one of your own during the alliance phase of an encounter. What happens when you are attacking, launch your fleet, and while gathering an alliance, play the trader on your opponent and give up your last encounter card?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Chakroun Karim
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I'm Not Sure About 1), But 2 And 3 Are Clarified Page 13 Of The Rulebook, I Think.

Basically, You Can't Hold On Your Non Encounter Cards, And If You Don't Have Encounter Cards During Your Turn It Ends Immediately.

I Think.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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That is correct. You do *not* keep your flares indefinately, eventually you will run out of challenge cards and you'll have to discard the rest of your hand and draw a new one. Sometimes it's great, you either have NO cards left of the flares/edicts you have suck. Sometimes it's a big bummer cause of the awesome flares you have. This is why some players feel it's important to do something to keep your hand full (like ally on defense).

This comes from the evolution of the game. The original game didn't have flares until (I think) the 5th Expansion. Basically when you ran out of Challenge Cards, discard the hand. Flares are a lot like Artifacts, extra cards that help in general, but are not crucial to the game. So when time comes to get more challenge cards, they have to go. Even if you are lucky enough to draw the Super card (which doesn't happen that often), you still have to discard it.

In the original game, one of the expansions introduced the Keeper edict/artifact which acted like the Miser Wild Flare, which is that when you need to draw a new hand, you could play the Keeper and keep the rest of your non-challenge cards in addition to drawing 7 new cards (the original game a hand was only 7 cards, not 8). Here's hoping the Keeper makes it into the Cosmic Incursion expansion

In the case of the Trader Flare, if your last Encounter Card was taken, and you were on the offense, then *boom* your turn is over. Them's the breaks!

-shnar

P.S. As for the Tick Tock flare, it's talking about the main cards. In the original game, the Destiny Deck was a Destiny Pile, wooden disks with your color on them. Some of these powers were written with that assumption in mind, i.e. when talking about Decks, they were assuming there was only one deck in the game, the main card-deck. So unless explicitly stated, all "decks" refer to the main cards, not the destiny deck.
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Previous posters are correct.

1) Main deck. Grabbing a free colony with a Flare (and not a challenge) is huge. This is a potential game-winner.

2) You are not allowed to forego playing an encounter on defense. You are allowed to play anything that's appropriate (in-phase and eligible) before dumping your hand and drawing a new one. Hand-management is a substantial part of the game.

3) If the attacker cannot play an Encounter card, their challenge is over (this is not a loss). Some powers/flares/etc may make it such that you expect to be able to play an Encounter card by the time you get to the "select" step. However, if you can't select an encounter card, everyone goes home. Defender would draw a new hand at this point if they're out of encounter cards, as the defender has no option to end the challenge. As in 2), that would mean playing or tossing anything left in the defenders hand.
 
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Ben Stanley
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Thank you all for the helpful replies.

One more quick question: is there any limit to what two players can negotiate if they both chose negotiate? Can they agree to be in each others' alliances in a future combat? Can they give each other enough colonies on their planets to make sure that both of them win the game together (and thus everyone else loses)?

I'm not sure I understand what the theoretical limits are on the negotiation power. Thanks.
 
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The lower limit is that something must be traded in least one direction. An "everybody goes home safe" deal is considered a failure, and the main players are subject to token loss.

The upper limit is one colony each. In addition to the colony, any number of cards may exchange hands, and anything else the player can negotiate with (e.g. Zombie may return ships from the Warp as part of a deal). If both players are one away, they can negotiate a shared win. They can't swap five colonies each to win, though.

The deal doesn't have to be equitable. For example, if a player has four colonies and is spread thin, he may accept a "base-for-nothing" deal, just to avoid losing the extra ships. Or you could trade "base-for-base, but you also have to take all my crappy cards..." Sometimes that can even be beneficial, like a low-for-high swap with Anti-Matter.

Negotiating future alliances or nonaggression pacts is unlikely to work well, because the Destiny deck will rearrange your plans for you. However, give it a try, see how it works out.

(also be sure to observe the time constraint on deals if negotiations start to drag.)
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Toomai Glittershine
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Not only will alliance negotiations and the like be hard to enforce because of destiny, such deal terms are not binding. That is, the game doesn't care if people break terms that don't involve colonies or cards - such terms are not technically part of the deal.
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mar hawkman
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One thing to note is that when giving cards as part of a deal, it's normally RANDOM. Hacker gets to choose, but that's because Hacker has choosing as his alien power.
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Not only will alliance negotiations and the like be hard to enforce because of destiny, such deal terms are not binding. That is, the game doesn't care if people break terms that don't involve colonies or cards - such terms are not technically part of the deal.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that. Good catch, thank you.

marhawkman wrote:
One thing to note is that when giving cards as part of a deal, it's normally RANDOM. Hacker gets to choose, but that's because Hacker has choosing as his alien power.


Well that's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure where you're getting it from. Compensation is random, and it's part of Hacker's power to break that rule. However, deals made in a Negotiate-Negotiate situation are most certainly not random.

FFG rulebook, p10:
Quote:
In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her
opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the
player already has a colony. In this way each main player may
gain a new colony and/or new cards. Any of a player’s ships that
are not in the warp can be used to establish this colony. Cards
must come from the players’ hands, not from the deck.


Absolutely nothing in there about randomness. Of course, you can specify "and a random draw from my hand", but there's nowhere that it's required. I think this is a mix-up between the deal rules and the compensation rules. No version I've played has this specified.

edit to add:
The FFG rulebook example also specifically shows player choice in a deal:
Quote:
The Clone wants a colony (she is behind in colonies) and agrees to
give the Anti-Matter her three lowest cards in return for a colony
(the Anti-Matter likes low cards due to his alien power). The
Anti-Matter agrees to this and the deal is done.
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mar hawkman
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Really? Huhn... I must have been thinking of CEO again....
 
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