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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Variants

Subject: Power Of The Day -- Canary rss

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Gerald Katz
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CANARY Launch & Alliance/Intermediate

Commits Ships Later

You have the power of cowardice. When you should commit ships to an encounter as offensive player or as an ally, use this power to delay committing your ships until after encounter cards are revealed. If you are to ally, you must have announced with which main player you will ally at the appropriate time and can then only place ships on that player's side of the encounter. You are not obligated to commit ships. As appropriate, you are still considered the offensive player with 0 ships at risk if you do not commit ships, but you are not officially an ally until you commit at least one ship.

HISTORY: The Canaries are an extremely terrified race. While they must be brave enough to encounter the vast dangers of the cosmos, they prefer to test the waters before finally committing themselves to take action. They'll only feel completely safe when they are in total control.

Do Not Use With Crystal or Magnet

FLARE

Planning
Wild: As offensive player, before cards are played you may chicken out. All ships return to bases and your turn ends.

Reveal or Resolution
Super: You may return your ships from the encounter to your colonies instead of the warp, out of game, or another player's control.

Commentary: This is a resource power created by me. This power has been slightly changed from when I originally created it. Before, Canary had to commit one ship to the encounter at first and then he could add more after cards are revealed. However, the purpose of the power was for Canary to have little risk of losing ships, and even this one ship seemed too much for the power. Plus, there was an additional ambiguous statement about other players not playing any more cards. I therefore allowed Canary to wait until cards are revealed before committing ships, but there must be an alliance declaration in Alliance Phase to prevent making Canary a more powerful Parasite or Wraith. The ambiguity of not playing cards was removed. Thus, after Canary commits ships someone on the opposing side could then play a Reinforcement or a Flare that affects the encounter or ships in the encounter. The Super Flare reflects this possibility. Remember that the use of the power is during Launch or Alliance phase. Canary cannot be zapped during the Reveal Phase when he commits ships.

In Matt Stone's set there is a power called Procrastinator in which this ability is a part of it. I took Procrastinator for my set but took away this ability from it since I already had created Canary long before I learned of that power.

Gerald Katz
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(edited for grammar clarity)

 
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Just a Bill
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hadsil wrote:
the purpose of the power was for Canary to have little risk of losing ships

Powers designed to prevent ship loss are very difficult to make viable since they have to stand in the shadow of big brother Zombie. Eon Zombie, since it could collect consolation, relegates Canary to the dreaded subset bucket.

Under FFG, one could argue that Canary at least gets compensation, but even then I'm not seeing the value of a power that "saves" my ships only when I'm the offense or an (invited) ally. Zombie saves all of those ships and more, and also lets me redistribute them to colonies of my choice. Zombie also doesn't have Canary's risk that somebody will use a Reinforcement or other effect after Canary commits his ships.

Seems like half a power.
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mar hawkman
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I'd actually file this as a subset of Amoeba.... Amoeba's power does the same thing, but moreso.

It might be interesting to try out though. I love the idea of not choosing how many ships to commit until after reveal. Yes there's reinforcements and kickers to worry about, but they're the only risk you have when attacking or allying.
 
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Gerald Katz
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The advantage of Canary over Zombie is that some game effect might be invoked that affects players involved in the encounter, not necessarily the involved ships. The Super Flare protects against such events after Canary commits, but it can happen beforehand. (That is the intent. Perhaps it should be added to the Super Flare that you are no longer considered involved in the encounter, but Canary is still vulnerable to Grudge as per its power.) For situational advantage Zombie is vulnerable to Void and Fungus. Canary can avoid such problems if his side would lose even if he committed ships by not committing ships at all.
 
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Mi Myma
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It's not really like the Amoeba, since the Amoeba has to ooze before cards are revealed.

But yes, this is a subset of the Zombie. Sure there are a few powers and flares which might affect the Zombie that don't affect the Canary, like the Fungus (I've never heard anyone who says the Void affects the Zombie before), but those do not make up for the "missing" power that the Zombie has.

Also the description of "cowardice" isn't quite right. Canaries aren't cowards, they're test subjects. It should be "you have the power to test" or something like that. They "test" the challenge to see if they can survive/win first. Maybe "the power of caution".

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Just a Bill
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It's not really like the Amoeba, since the Amoeba has to ooze before cards are revealed.

Bingo. Amoeba only twists dials on the amount of risk you want to gamble with; Canary and Zombie save ships after risk has given birth to success or failure.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
I've never heard anyone who says the Void affects the Zombie before

Unfortunately, FFG said it in that awful FAQ. Terrible ruling.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Also the description of "cowardice" isn't quite right. Canaries aren't cowards, they're test subjects. It should be "you have the power to test" or something like that. They "test" the challenge to see if they can survive/win first. Maybe "the power of caution".

I agree and will go a step further; canaries don't even test. It's the canary's owner that does the testing. And he doesn't even test ahead of time; he sends the miners in to start work, along with the canary. If the air remains breathable, he doesn't send in more canaries; he simply makes the miners keep working. A better thematic fit for Canary would be to commit ships normally and then abandon the encounter when there's a problem (but this would really spill the beans that it's just Zombie Lite).

Cowardice is a good concept here; this power really is the exact opposite of bravery. So I would recommend keeping the "power of Cowardice" and find a better name that fits it. Unfortunately the only thing I can think of offhand is Edmund Blackadder, who hides until the battle is over and then claims he killed a bunch of enemies. Obviously, that is totally unsuitable.

A thesaurus search on "coward" turns up some possibilities: caitiff, craven, cur, faintheart, invertebrate, jellyfish, malingerer, mouse, pessimist, poltroon, recreant, shirk, shirker, skulker, sneak, weakling, wimp, wuss, yellowbelly. Shirker is good because he often calls in sick and only shows up for work if there's something in it for him personally. Craven, Poltroon, and Recreant are good because their unfamiliarity makes them cosmicky.
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mar hawkman
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It's not really like the Amoeba, since the Amoeba has to ooze before cards are revealed.
timing aside, the power functions in much the same way. you choose how many ships to commit after everyone else. Canary can't go over 4, or run for it on defense, but gets to commit after reveal.
 
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Just a Bill
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marhawkman wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It's not really like the Amoeba, since the Amoeba has to ooze before cards are revealed.
timing aside, the power functions in much the same way.

But in this case, timing is everything. Are you really arguing that the benefit of this power is more comparable to Amoeba than to Zombie?
 
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Gerald Katz
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Before Fantasy Flight, the wording on Void and Zombie were ambiguous. In Eon, the wording leaned towards Zombie being immune to Void. In Mayfair, the wording leaned towards Zombie being vulnerable to Void. However, in Fantasy Flight Zombie is clearly vulnerable to Void because Zombie specifies the ships going to the warp to use the power while Void specifies eradicated ships aren't going to the warp at all.
 
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Mi Myma
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Cowardice is a good concept here; this power really is the exact opposite of bravery. So I would recommend keeping the "power of Cowardice" and find a better name that fits it. Unfortunately the only thing I can think of offhand is Edmund Blackadder, who hides until the battle is over and then claims he killed a bunch of enemies. Obviously, that is totally unsuitable.

A thesaurus search on "coward" turns up some possibilities: caitiff, craven, cur, faintheart, invertebrate, jellyfish, malingerer, mouse, pessimist, poltroon, recreant, shirk, shirker, skulker, sneak, weakling, wimp, wuss, yellowbelly. Shirker is good because he often calls in sick and only shows up for work if there's something in it for him personally. Craven, Poltroon, and Recreant are good because their unfamiliarity makes them cosmicky.

How 'bout just "Coward"?
 
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Just a Bill
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Then we're back to throwing out "cowardice". Coward / power of Cowardice ... Cosmic Encounter aliens aren't redundant like that.
 
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mar hawkman
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Bill Martinson wrote:
marhawkman wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It's not really like the Amoeba, since the Amoeba has to ooze before cards are revealed.
timing aside, the power functions in much the same way.
But in this case, timing is everything. Are you really arguing that the benefit of this power is more comparable to Amoeba than to Zombie?
the net effect is somewhat similar but the game mechanics are not.
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Then we're back to throwing out "cowardice". Coward / power of Cowardice ... Cosmic Encounter aliens aren't redundant like that.

Some of them are:

Berserker has the power to go berserk.
Reincarnator has the power of reincarnation.
Healer has the power to heal.
Magnet has the power of magnetism. (Mayfair's version)
Extortionist has the power to extort.
Subversive has the power of subversion.
Delegator has the power to delegate.
Changeling has the power to change form.

But if you really want to avoid this, you could say the Coward has the power of caution. Or the power of timidity.
 
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Just a Bill
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Okay, so there are a few. Given Mayfair's track record of consistently horrible aesthetic decision-making, their data doesn't land on my radar, and I don't count Changeling, so that's 4 out of 75 Eon aliens. That means the power does not repeat the title 95% of the time — clearly this was an aesthetic goal they strove for, and only failed to achieve four times.

As I've said before, just because there are a few exceptions to an obvious standard doesn't throw the door wide open to breeding exceptions willy-nilly. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but in the overwhelming majority of cases it is easily avoided with a little effort and patience.

You can call a new homebrew Strawberry Shortcake and give it the power to Fart In Church if you want to, and it might even be the cleverest homebrew to come along in years, but I'm still going to point out that it doesn't fit the Cosmic vibe. ;-)
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