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Subject: Virus rss

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Chris Withem

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As a "ex" player of super smash bros and the like, my group is a big fan of "tiers." We bring them up, Constantly refer to this alien or that alien as "top tier" as in the best, or the worst....

(For those interested we rate Chosen as one of the best, and Hacker as one of the worst as an example)

My questions to you pertain to Virus.

How do you rate Virus?
How do you beat Virus?
What are its strengths/weaknesses?

My 2 cents...

I rate virus as high, but not the best. I think he has a few flaws that would ultimately be his demise in very late game play or very controlled game play.

Virus is EXTREMELY strong early game. Given the right luck of the draw, Virus wins in 5 encounters with little-to-no questions asked. Virus (like all other combat increasing powers) run into a very big wall of pain vs. Loser or Anti-Matter. Recently with the negative cards in the new Rewards deck, Virus is now able to completely thrash these 2 (although by a very slim thread in the form of 3 negative value cards).

My biggest stump is...How would you beat Virus? Short of the obvious answer (cosmic zap), there are very few ways to do it. Even 2 ships on a Virus planet can be troublesome to overcome.

And this is where I think Virus fails to shine. In the chance that Virus begins to have scattered colonies with 1 or 2s late game, he becomes very easy to defeat (especially with his hand being eaten by plagues/negotiates/etc).

How would you rate Virus? What are your thoughts on beating Virus? For those who enjoy a laugh, my last 2 virus games were won with the 40....for a grand total of 160 attack strength
 
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Jack Reda
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I rate Virus high. You have to play him smartly so you can still pack a punch in the late game. He can also require some social maneuvering- as you try to get people to let you ally with him.

Stopping him usually means ganging up early, depending on what other aliens are in the game. Aliens like Anti-Matter and Loser and Pacifist don't care about Virus at all... but if none of those guys are there, it takes a group effort to keep him behind.
 
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Ken H.
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Top tier. He has a couple of natural enemies, like Anti-matter and Loser. He is vulnerable to Sorceror and Pacifist (but so is everybody else), and there are a couple of aliens who can go toe-to-toe with him, like Tripler. But if Virus is in a game without any of those enemies, then you have to assume he is going to win unless you stop him.

How to beat him: first of all, make fun of the player who chose him. Chastise that player for needing to play CE on "easy mode", and tell him that when he grows up, he should plan on moving up to the adult aliens. Second, never invite him to ally on either side, use all harmful artifacts and flares on him only, defend with a Negotiate (if it's his first encounter), and try to shorten the game by inviting lots of other allies on offense regardless of who your opponent is.
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Chris O
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Top tier for sure with Loser and Warpish.

To nerf him with house rules make him offense only, all the other powerhouse attack power aliens are offense only.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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Virus can't multiply well if he's short on ships. Plague him, invite him to ally and then lose on purpose. Use Emotion Control when he's main player, and make sure the deal fails.

Bribery can't hurt, along with pleading, begging and groveling.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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There are actually plenty of aliens that can mess with him, even if they aren't "natural enemies". Vacuum, shadow, and Hate are all going to hurt ship counts. Trader can hurt him if he tailors the right hand and gets a trade off (and players could be encouraged to get trader his super through deals to ensure the trade happens). The trick is just to poke away at Virus and try your hardest to keep mobius tubes out of his hands.
 
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Chris Withem

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LOL I love a few good laughs. I pretty much agree with all of the above. I don't necessarily agree with the house ruling him Offense only. If we started doing that other Overpowered aliens (chosen, Warpish, Sorceror) would have to be house ruled and so on and so forth...

I was just curious to the BGG's opinion on him. Room mate and I got in quite a debate about how beatable he is. I think it just takes a very controlled game to take him out. We play a lot of 3 or 4 player CE so that tends to be much more difficult.
 
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Matthew Cary
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I would argue that Virus is a good but not great combat-oriented alien. As others have said, several aliens win by spinning combat in an odd direction (Like Anti-Matter) but these tend to mess with all combat powers equally.

I think it's more useful to compare Virus to the guys that have powers that jack up their combat totals. These include (but is not limited to): Warrior, Chosen, Merchant, Deuce, Tripler, Leviathan, Warpish, and a few others.

I feel that playing to win the game you have to divide out the powers into categories and decide which category fits your play-style.
For example, would you prefer to use a power that is:
- Combat-Oriented? (see list above)
- Hand-Management? (Philanthropist, Mutant)
- Resource Hoarding? (Kamikaze, Remorha, Symbiote)
- Alternate Win? (Tick Tock, Genius)
- Metapower? (Reincarnator, Plant)
- Stupid Math Tricks? (Calculator)
- All or Nothing? (Pacifist, Locust)
- Information Advantage (Mind, Oracle)
- Mechanic-Busters (Dictator, Sorcerer)

You can then break these groups out into strong and weak aliens for that playstyle. Of course, as with any metagame you will always see some aliens that have magnified importance because of their ability to trump a powerful set of opponents even if they aren't *that* strong. (such as healer)




Now, that being said, I tend to look more at how fun an alien is to *play*.
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Lindsey Dubb
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To some extent, the strength of an alien depends on how strong the players think they are. If everybody thinks an alien is powerful, then they don't get invited on offense, and tend to do poorly when making deals. So when everybody at the table thinks an alien is strong, that makes it substantially weaker.

And that's Virus' main problem -- Even if it's your first game, it's really obvious that Virus is powerful. There are other aliens which are probably at least as strong, but don't look nearly as threatening (Loser, Judge, Parasite, and Vulch come to mind).
 
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Jeff Finazzo
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Rubric wrote:

How to beat him: first of all, make fun of the player who chose him. Chastise that player for needing to play CE on "easy mode", and tell him that when he grows up, he should plan on moving up to the adult aliens.


Adding this to my tactics.
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Luke O'Hearn
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Virus can't multiply well if he's short on ships. Plague him, invite him to ally and then lose on purpose. Use Emotion Control when he's main player, and make sure the deal fails.


And as Virus expands and colonises they spread themselves thinner and thinner.

Take compensation from them, hurting their hand. This can make it easier for them t loose an encounter (along with ships) - making them more manageable.
 
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