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Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Incursion» Forums » Rules

Subject: Merchant? rss

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Austin Norris

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So my friend had the Merchant last night and after awhile I had to question does it really work the way it was being used. So pretty much after playing his encounter card the Merchant player would just dump his hand to use them as ships. That way he would lose his hand and have a chance at a better one. If he won he would keep them but it would just get out of hand adding 7+ as an ally and only lose one ship and soon get a new hand if he lost but if he won he would double his hand size on defense.

I don't know if we are playing it wrong or what, but he pretty much cycled through the deck several times only keeping a hand for probably 3 encounters max before droping the remaining cards for a new hand and playing out all cards he could use to mess with people.
 
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Jack Reda
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Merchant may get to shed cards easily, but it's at the cost of losing the encounter. I don't know how long that's a useful trade off, but my guess is not too long.
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Austin Norris

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The problem comes with allying. I have noticed that if you ask him to ally, he won't care if your going to win or lose, because it will help him either way.

I've generally taught my friends about not just inviting everyone in but even if the Merchant will join you and add 10 it is pretty attractive. I might be overestimating him but we have been playing with only new powers which seem to be most of the nastier ones as well.
 
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Chris O
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I would actually put merchant up in the top-tier aliens category of this expansion because he is almost guaranteed to do one of 2 things if he is in an encounter: Add a huge amount of "ships" to his side (usually like 5-13ish depending on his hand), OR he eliminates ALL his crap cards by intentionally jumping on the losing side of an encounter.

To me that screams "well-made power". Similar to how the Mite is a well-made offense only power, but at least you know it will always DO something unless the opponent has 3 cards left.
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Daniel Gorney
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Merchant has rapidly earned himself a secure spot on my group's "List of Aliens That You Do Not Invite Except in Dire Circumstances". He isn't #1 (that honor is reserved for Virus), but he's up there, albeit with an asterisk (*) by his name. (*= This prohibition only applies as a Defensive Ally.)

Some Aliens are simply too risky to Invite; Merchant, as a Defensive Ally, is one of them. Don't do it, and Merchant will remain manageable. It's not worthwhile to invite Merchant as a Defensive Ally unless:

1.) It's the only way to avoid losing your Alien power (and you are in a situation where your only hope of winning lies in retaining your power)

or

2.) It's the only way to avoid losing the game.

or

3.) Merchant has no cards in his hand.

Otherwise, it benefits Merchant far more than it benefits you. Given that Merchant is a very good resource management power (perhaps one of the best), voluntarily providing him with any unnecessary resources is simply bad play.
 
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