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Subject: Medevac - Rescues Losing Ships rss

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Just a Bill
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Yet another idea for something interesting to do with your weak encounter cards:

MEDEVAC
RESCUES LOSING SHIPS

You have the power to Rescue. When ships should go to the warp because of losing an encounter (or failing to make a deal) and you have a card in your hand that exactly matches one of the revealed encounter cards, you may use this power to rescue one or more of those ships. Discard the matching card to prevent the ships of your choice from going to the warp. Rescued ships return to any of their owners’ colonies. When you rescue your own ships, you may place some or all of them onto one of your home planets where you have lost your colony. When ships that should earn compensation are rescued, you decide in each case whether or not the compensation is still collected.

Combining the ancient healing arts with ninth-generation stealth technology, the Medevacs are renowned for their capacity to pluck their warriors from the jaws of certain death at the eleventh chronit. Their allies and even their enemies benefit from this protection, when it suits the Medevacs’ purposes.
As Any Player - Optional - Resolution

Wild: As a main player or ally, if your side reveals an attack card and loses, you may prevent all losing ships from going to the warp. Rescued ships return to any of their owners’ colonies. Give this flare to the Medevac after use (or discard it, if the Medevac isn't playing).
Main Player or Ally Only - Resolution

Super: You may rescue losing ships by discarding any encounter card from your hand.
As Any Player - Resolution

This has some similarities with Observer. The differences are that Medevac is optional, can work on both a main player and his allies at the same time, can work on opposing ships, gets rid of junk cards, and reclaims lost home colonies; but it only works when you have a matching encounter card to activate it.

There's also some overlap with Healer, but this is written in such a way to give both aliens some breathing room. When Medevac has a matching card, he will beat Healer to the punch; but Healer can activate in situations that Medevac cannot, and during encounters Healer will be there to clean up the casualties whenever Medevac lacks a matching card.

The most common use of this power will probably be getting rid of two Negotiates during the same encounter to collect compensation without losing any ships; but it would also be handy any time you have a pair of 04s or 06s or whatever that you want to purge without losing any ships, while also reclaiming a lost home base.
 
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Chris O
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Don't know what to say other than this is way too close to being a slightly different Healer. Yet still being Healer. It's like another power besides Void that eradicates ships but only certain ones when you play the matching card... don't like it. Sorry.
 
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Just a Bill
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Thanks for the feedback, Chris.

Although the effect on other players is certainly very similar to Healer's effect, the actual benefits to the power's owner are intentionally and profoundly different between the two aliens. If you don't like it, that's fine, but I must confess I don't understand the statement that the power "is" Healer (and I'm really baffled by the Void comparison). Care to elaborate?
 
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Barney Bustoffson
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I can see the benefit of being able to get rid of cards from your hand, but it feels like that wouldn't happen enough in a game to make Medavac a must have alien to the point where you are okay with rescuing someone else's ships. Sure, negotiates comes up often enough, but I don't think I'd want to save someone's 4 ships from going to the warp just so I can offload one of my negotiates (provided I have one at the same time). I think if you can just discard cards that other players have played is enough without having to save ships. It IS too much like Healer in that regard. Perhaps you can force that player to keep their card when you discard one that is the same, or some other mechanic. I'd rather see something that helps Medavac without also helping other players too (because that is something that Healer and Observer already do).
 
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Just a Bill
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Bustoffson wrote:
... I don't think I'd want to save someone's 4 ships from going to the warp just so I can offload one of my negotiates ... I'd rather see something that helps Medavac without also helping other players too

But you are not required to help other players; whether you rescue just one ship, all losing ships in the encounter, or something in between is up to you. Most of the time, you will rescue your own ships. Sometimes you will want to include your allies. Rarely, you may want to rescue some or all of your opponent's ships.

Following are some examples that might help:

1. You are the offensive player or one of his allies, and the defense has allies. Offense reveals a low, common attack; defense negotiates. You and the other offensive ships get the colony, but before the losing ships go to the warp you medevac one of those ships (perhaps belonging to a losing defensive ally) so you can ditch a copy of that low attack card, or a negotiate, from your hand. (One rescued ship to prevent a likely encounter loss later on down the road.)

2. You are the offensive player, reveal attack, and your opponent negotiates. You don't want to lose 4 cards in compensation, so you ditch either a negotiate or a copy of the attack you revealed (you planned ahead for this possibility) and send his 4 losing ships to his other bases instead of the warp, electing to cancel his compensation. In this particular case, you decided that it was worth saving his ships from the warp in order to protect your hand. On another occasion, you might decide the other way and just not use your power.

3. You are planning to negotiate (you have two Ns in hand) and want your opponent to feel the pressure to "go high". You invite all possible defensive allies. He plays his attack 20 (success!) and you lose the encounter. You ditch your second negotiate and rescue all ships on your side, so your allies will be inclined to ally with you again on future encounters, feeling the warm-fuzzy that you will "take care of them" in the event of a loss. Your allies lose nothing and get to redistribute their ships a bit. You lose nothing except the two negotiate cards you wanted to purge, and you still get to collect the compensation (if you want it).

Indeed, that last example shows one of the subtler benefits of the power: like Observer, the ability to protect your buddies puts you in a better position to attract allies when you really need them, but (unlike Observer) affords you the opportunity for that late-game backstab that sends them all to the warp!

It's easy enough to see the similarities with Healer and Observer, but if you dig a little I think you'll find that in actual use the differences are significant:

Healer must heal all of the target player's ships.
Healer cannot prevent compensation.
Healer cannot heal his own ships.
Observer must protect all ships of all your allies.
Observer cannot protect any ships of the main player (including his own).
Observer and Healer cannot get rid of trash cards.
Observer and Healer cannot recover lost home colonies with ease.

Medevac exceeds the other two powers in all of these areas, but of course requires a matching card to be able to activate. To me it's an interesting variant on the other two with different breadth and depth, but I don't expect everyone to like it.
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Jon Gon
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I find it an interesting idea; it has some similarities with Healer and Observer but it’s distinctive enough. It allows you to save ships from the warp, discard unwanted cards and in some cases prevent the loss of colonies (this is a very good detail).
Being optional causes a lot of difficult decisions (I like that) between discarding unwanted card and saving other player’s ships. I find it quite more strategic than Healer (which I don’t like) and Observer.

 
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mar hawkman
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I like how you tossed in a caveat stating that Medevac can hose compensation. I like that one. also you can use it on yourself, unlike healer. It even works to restore lost home colonies. It's not overpowered because it has a "cost". So it's great all-round.
 
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Chris O
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What I meant was this:

I was making comparisons using powers that do one distinct thing that no one else does, and they do it well.

In the case of Healer, it can ALWAYS save all ships in an encounter and gain a card for each player that it saved ships from. So the main point is removing ships from the Warp that were just put in for a card benefit. Medevac is doing that same thing only the timing is a little sooner so that it mimics Zombie more so by PREVENTING those from going to the Warp, which is like an optional other-players effecting Zombie. It is like a Zombie/Healer hybrid but is still no where near distinct enough to warrant inclusion in its current form IMO.

With Void I was giving a non-Healer example to state my case. It means this: Imagine a power that could eradicate anyone's ships even when NOT a main player, if it played the matching card of a main player. It could then choose exactly what ships get eradicated, which would prevent compensation since they wouldn't be going to the Warp. This is Medevac only with a Void aspect instead of Healer aspect. That was my point. You can "Medevac" any race in the game, but it will still always be a subset of that race and be way too close in function.
 
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Just a Bill
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Messianic wrote:
It is like a Zombie/Healer hybrid but is still no where near distinct enough to warrant inclusion in its current form IMO.

I see your point, but I guess we make our subjective assessments differently. I could use the same line of thought to say that Fido should not have been printed because of Filch and Clone, or that Fodder is not distinct enough from the "more pure" Deuce, or that Pacifist and Empath (or Plant and Insect, or Miser and Cryo) should not coexist in the same universe, or that Loser, Anti-Matter, Mirror, and Tripler should duke it out for the title of High Cards Bad, Low Cards Good.

Any of these things are arguable, but what I look for is what makes a new suggestion distinct from a gameplay/strategy perspective, or even just fun in a different way. Medevac and Healer both prevent ships from going to the warp, but if you're saying that this similarity alone is sufficient to kill Medevac then you seem to be saying that there can never be another power that prevents other players' ships from going to the warp. That's too restrictive for my taste.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and the amplified explanation.
 
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Matthew Cary
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I'm sorry to join the chain of criticism but..

This is a power that is hand dependent but doesn't actually help you when it goes off. Further, it only works if you have the same cards as one used in the encounter.

So
-It is hard to use this power (you need the right cards)
-It doesn't' actually help you to use your power (other than to dump a card you may or may not want to dump)
-Other aliens do this without all these restrictions

Is this distinct from existing aliens? Sure. There is plenty of room for homebrews that overlap others a bit. But the main problem with this alien IMHO isn't that it overlaps others, it is that it is too hard to use it's power, and there isn't any motivation to do so even if you can get it off.

Which moves this into the "non-power power" groups. Aliens like the Worm were fine once upon a time, but I don't think that most modern gamers enjoy them.

If Medivac got something, or captured the units it "rescued" or something that would make this a stronger power.
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Just a Bill
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Jhamin wrote:
... it is too hard to use it's power, and there isn't any motivation to do so even if you can get it off.

I'm seeing it as firing a bit more often perhaps then you are, but you might be right ... so suppose it said discard any non-attack card to use your power. That would probably give it more opportunity to breathe, and thematically is probably better anyway for something that the Medevacs want the rest of us to think is an altruistic mercy mission. (I do hate to lose the ability to dump my 4s, 6s, and 8s, though.)
 
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