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Subject: Another of my Powers: Kamikaze rss

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Mi Myma
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Yes, I know there is already an FFG power called Kamikaze. In fact, of all the custom aliens I have seen that people have created, Kamikaze is the most commonly used name. I remember looking through a huge database of powers (800-1000 - possibly the same as Jack Reda’s list, only many years ago), and there were at least five different Kamikazes in there, not including mine. I invented mine before I ever even saw any of the others, and this was back when I was playing with the West End edition with EON expansions.

KAMIKAZE
Sacrifices Ships for Extra Firepower

You have the power to Sacrifice. As a main player, after cards are revealed, you may use this power to sacrifice any or all of the ships you have in the encounter. Each ship sacrificed counts as 4 toward your attack total, rather than 1. Sacrificed ships go to the Warp, or are subject to other powers and effects that affect lost ships (such as the Void). If you sacrifice all of your ships to win, you do not get the colony as the offensive player, but it still counts as a win. If you are entitled to Compensation, you may use this power sacrifice ships to reduce the number of cards you get.

History: The fearless and strictly disciplined Kamikazes are so fiercely loyal to their cause that they are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for victory.

Wild: As a main player or ally, after cards are revealed in an encounter, you may sacrifice your ships from your other colonies. Each ship you sacrifice adds 1 to your side’s total.

Super: You may use your power to sacrifice as an ally. If you are entitled to Rewards, you only get rewards for ships that remain in the encounter, not the sacrificed ones.

Illustration: A very serious-looking, squarish-headed alien standing at attention near his personal spacecraft, as if receiving one final salute before his last mission. Some alien markings on the ship, which stands ready on a launchpad/runway. The alien wears a fairly plain uniform with some insignia. Other similar ships are taking off in the background.

Example: The Kamikaze has four ships in the encounter, and plays an Attack 09, and has three allied ships on his side. His attack total is 9+4+3 = 16. If he sacrifices two of his ships, his attack total will be 9+2+3+8 = 22.

Notes: While most of the Kamikazes I’ve seen (including the FFG one) are fine powers, none of them, other than mine, really “feels” like a kamikaze, IMO. The FFG one sacrifices ships that aren’t even involved in the battle, to gain resources - it would be more appropriate to call it the “Cannibal”, it seems to me. Mine OTOH, sacrifices ships in the actual attack to gain a direct military tactical advantage - they do more “damage” by sacrificing themselves.
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Just a Bill
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I like it. It's definitely more interesting than the "official" Kamikaze (which, as you point out, is thematically a dud — and I like your Cannibal suggestion). Here are my questions/observations:

* I think you can eliminate that whole sentence about Void and such by just saying "sacrifice to the warp" earlier in the text.

* I love the fact that in certain situations I can sacrifice all my ships (and lose the planet) for the sake of making the encounter still be a "win". This would sometimes be strategically valuable and it's practically dripping with theme. (You can delete "for all other purposes", though.)

* I always recommend something like "counts as 4 toward your total" (rather than using add) to make things cleaner when you're allied with Virus or Anti-Matter, using the Pulsar hex, etc.

* I don't understand the compensation bit. Nobody gets compensation for ships that remain ... do you mean "remain just long enough to get killed by the opposing attack card", or do you mean to invert how the compensation mechanism works for this power? If the former, I don't see why you would sacrifice any ships at all when you've revealed a negotiate against the opponent's attack. (EDIT: Well, unless you actually don't want the cards ... is that the intent?) If the latter, it needs to be made much more clear that this is a second effect of the power.

* On the Wild, should it be "from your other colonies" to avoid having to write more text to deal with the defense sacrificing his own ships that are involved in the encounter?

Nice work. I wish FFG's Kamikaze was actually a Kamikaze, rather than something that just grinds up its old folks into Soylent Green.
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Mi Myma
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Thanks! I've edited to incorporate most of your suggestions, except for the one about the Void. There always seems to be confusion about what "lost to the warp" means with regard to effects like the Void, Fungus, Zombie, Healer, Lloyd, Vampire, etc. And of course, the Void is not the only power that would affect Sacrificed ships. You can't sacrifice to avoid going to the Fungus either, for example. If you win against the Fungus, and some effect saves one or more of the losing Fungus ships, they adhere to your sacrificed ships.
 
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Gerald Katz
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I would prefer to be able to sacrifice my ships immediately to the warp and avoid Resolution issues against Fungus, Void, etc., as a side indirect benefit.

 
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Wouldn't we all? But if you're going to lose to the Fungus, Void, etc., anyway, this power gives you the possibility of actually winning the encounter and thereby only losing some, but not all of your ships to those effects.

My power went through a few different versions before I arrived at the one you see here. The first version was more complicated, and included an ability to get tokens back from the Void/Fungus/etc., but sacrifices only counted as 3. The way I changed it makes the power simpler and more elegant. Yeah, the Void is scary, but that doesn't mean new powers have to be built to escape it. Why should the Kamikaze be able to avoid the Void, when other powers can't?

BTW, there was another Kamikaze in Encounter! vol. 2, no. 2, which sacrificed four tokens before cards are played to double the value of the card. This one also isn't very kamikaze-like. There aren't any suicidal dive-bombers, instead the power sacrifices itself before battle to pump itself up. If the FFG one should be renamed "Cannibal". This one might be renamed "Steroid" or perhaps "Frankenstein" - it kills its own and then uses the dead to create a big strong monster.
 
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I like this one; it’s simple, thematic and powerful. I agree that it makes a better use of the name Kamizake.

I don’t think that a special clause for powers like Void and Fungus is necessary. Your Kamikaze uses his power during Reveal, while the other effects are only triggered in Resolution. These powers can actually end up being zapped. I understand that you’re trying to eliminate what you consider to be an unfair advantage, but sending them directly to the warp seems to be a cleaner solution.

In the FFG set there are many examples of powers that overcome or negate others, that’s just another element of the game that the players have to deal with.

Another option, that doesn’t negate Void and Fungus, is making Kamikaze sacrifice ships before cards are revealed.


 
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Just a Bill
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
There always seems to be confusion about what "lost to the warp" means with regard to effects like the Void, Fungus, Zombie, Healer, Lloyd, Vampire, etc.

Maybe, but if it needs to be put on this card then there are tons of other cards that need a similar errata. I'd rather fix the problem with an erratum or clarification for the handful of powers that cause the problem than have to write all future cards around them.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
You can't sacrifice to avoid going to the Fungus either, for example. If you win against the Fungus, and some effect saves one or more of the losing Fungus ships, they adhere to your sacrificed ships.

Actually, that's not the case. If you win against the Fungus his power doesn't activate at all. To adhere, he has to win the encounter.

However, if you are losing against Fungus, I totally thought you could sacrifice ships to keep them from getting captured. As Jon Gon points out, Kamikaze fires in a prior phase. Also, most of the powers we are talking about target the "losing ships", and ships removed from an encounter before its resolution are not "losing ships" (nor are they "winning ships" if you win the encounter -- think of the card breakage this would case). Ships removed from an encounter are just ships removed from an encounter; they don't participate in the win or loss.

I guess I have misunderstood your intent. If you want to remove ships from an encounter provisionally to the warp, but then have them hang around in limbo to see if something unusual happens to your other losing ships, then grandfather the earlier ones into that effect, this is going to take a lot more words. It would seem that you're going to have to decide if you want that to happen with all effects, just negative effects, or just the effects that make storyline sense to you, and then figure out how to write it.
 
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Mi Myma
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Bill Martinson wrote:
However, if you are losing against Fungus, I totally thought you could sacrifice ships to keep them from getting captured. As Jon Gon points out, Kamikaze fires in a prior phase. Also, most of the powers we are talking about target the "losing ships", and ships removed from an encounter before its resolution are not "losing ships" (nor are they "winning ships" if you win the encounter -- think of the card breakage this would case). Ships removed from an encounter are just ships removed from an encounter; they don't participate in the win or loss.

That's a good point. And maybe your right in that sacrificed ships should just go directly to the warp, avoiding all other effects. However, these sacrificed ships *do* participate in the encounter in a very significant way - they count as 4 each to the total!

Therefore, I will reword the power:

You have the power to Sacrifice. As a main player, after cards are revealed, you may use this power to sacrifice any or all of the ships you have in the encounter. Each ship sacrificed counts as 4 toward your attack total, rather than 1. Sacrificed ships go to the Warp, or are subject to other powers and effects that affect lost ships (such as the Void). Sacrificed ships are placed to the side of the Hyperspace Gate, near the offensive or defensive end, as appropriate. If you sacrifice all of your ships to win, you do not get the colony as the offensive player, but it still counts as a win. At encounter resolution, sacrificed ships go to the Warp, or are subject to other powers and effects that affect lost ships (such as the Void). If you are entitled to Compensation, you may use this power sacrifice ships to reduce the number of cards you get.

I am thinking about eliminating the last sentence (the one in Italics). I kind of like it, but it's a bit inconsistant, I realize. And it doesn't really make that much of a difference to the power.
 
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Just a Bill
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I'm still befuddled. I thought you were saying we had a good point, but you're still trying to make the ships be both removed from the encounter and not removed from the encounter at the same time?

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Sacrificed ships are placed to the side of the Hyperspace Gate, near the offensive or defensive end, as appropriate.

This makes sacrificed defensive main ships look like defensive allies.

Anyway, I can't really follow this any more ... the revisions are giving me a headache. What's the reason you can't just send them to the warp and forget about them like a hundred other effects do?

To put this another way: Why can't Kamikaze work like Fury, in effect "discarding" ships out of the encounter to (slightly later) add to your total, just like Fury discards tokens? It would be so much more elegant than trying to force the sacrificed ships to still be susceptible to the two or three powers that would occasionally want to capture or eradicate them.
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
I'm still befuddled. I thought you were saying we had a good point, but you're still trying to make the ships be both removed from the encounter and not removed from the encounter at the same time?

It was just a suggestion. The only issue really is: is the power too strong if it can avoid the Void and the Fungus and similar effects (perhaps including the ability to reduce the compensation it might collect)? Or is it too weak if it is subject to those effects? If it's fine either way, then it's only a matter of wording the power so it's clear and consistant.

So what do you think? Too weak without being able to avoid the Void? Too strong if it can?

Quote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Sacrificed ships are placed to the side of the Hyperspace Gate, near the offensive or defensive end, as appropriate.

This makes sacrificed defensive main ships look like defensive allies.

Right. Still playing Mayfair/EON. There I go again, assuming players will use common sense. OK, if you want to adhere (no pun intended) literally to the instructions of FFG's edition, sacrificed ships on the defending side can be placed *on* the cone gate itself, so as not to be confused with defensive allies. And BTW, since the power is used as a main player, they can be distinguished from allies anyway.

Quote:
Anyway, I can't really follow this any more ... the revisions are giving me a headache.

Gee, that didn't take much. All I've done was reword it slightly.

Quote:
What's the reason you can't just send them to the warp and forget about them like a hundred other effects do?

It just seemed to me to be a little to much to be able to ignore the Void, Fungus, etc. Do you disagree? Does the Kamikaze need to be Void and Fungus proof?

Quote:
To put this another way: Why can't Kamikaze work like Fury, in effect "discarding" ships out of the encounter to (slightly later) add to your total, just like Fury discards tokens? It would be so much more elegant than trying to force the sacrificed ships to still be susceptible to the two or three powers that would occasionally want to capture or eradicate them.

I don't see why it's more elegant to let this one power's ships avoid these effects, rather than treating them like any other lost ships. To me, the latter is more elegant.
 
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It's a good alien, and great minds do think alike. Some other aliens that have very similar abilities: Bonzai (by Christian Nelson), Drove (by Toomai), Exponent (by me), Martyr (by Matt Stone and/or Kevin Baker), Nitrous (also by me), There are three other Kamikaze's on The Warp, but none are like Phil's.

/trivia
 
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Just a Bill
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The only issue really is: is the power too strong if it can avoid the Void and the Fungus and similar effects (perhaps including the ability to reduce the compensation it might collect)? Or is it too weak if it is subject to those effects? If it's fine either way, then it's only a matter of wording the power so it's clear and consistant.

Well, let's break it down. I think we're talking about three aliens here: Fungus, Ghoul, and Void. (Healer still works either way.) All three of those activate when they win the encounter. So the question is, in those cases where Kamikaze still cannot win the encounter even by sacrificing all of his participating ships, is it okay to escape those three powers? Well ... maybe. I'm not quite so convinced now as I was before. Zombie escapes Ghoul, but that's not much of a precedent, is it?

Perhaps the way to look at this is to see what other dial can be twisted so that those powers get to operate on Kamikaze at least part of the time. I think the way to do this is to limit Kamikaze to using his power after he reveals an attack card. This is more thematically appropriate and makes Kamikaze vulnerable to all the normal things whenever he is forced to play a negotiate (which he hates, of course). Note that this idea also makes the compensation question go away.

Oh, crap ... I just realized what I've been missing. Because the ships still count toward the total (just as 4 instead of 1), they really have to hang around for the resolution. I think I had it in my head (incorrectly, of course) that they were immediately sent to the warp and a modifier was queued up for the total. Let's try that model and combine it with the after-revealing-an-attack idea:

You have the power to Sacrifice. As a main player, after you reveal an attack card, you may use this power to sacrifice any or all of the ships you have in the encounter. Each ship sacrificed immediately goes to the warp to add 4 to your total during the resolution phase. If you sacrifice all of your ships and win, your win still counts even though you do not gain or keep the colony.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
There I go again, assuming players will use common sense.

And I assume that players will get things wrong if it isn't spelled out precisely. Both are true, of course. ;-)

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, I can't really follow this any more ... the revisions are giving me a headache.

Gee, that didn't take much. All I've done was reword it slightly.

Yeah, may brain is pretty well spent from the Cosmodex. Sucks getting old.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
I don't see why it's more elegant to let this one power's ships avoid these effects, rather than treating them like any other lost ships. To me, the latter is more elegant.

I guess you're defining elegance as making sure a power has the same vulnerabilities as other powers, and I'm defining it as not having three sentences of baggage to explain how something "kind of is" and "kind of isn't" in a certain category.
 
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Gerald Katz
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The power is not too strong if it can avoid Fungus and Void. In exchange for gaining a few extra combat points Kamikaze is guaranteeing he will lose ships, even if he wins the encounter. Kamikaze always loses ships for using his power. That is significant. Avoiding Fungus and Void would simply be an indirect benefit and only really matters if Fungus or Void is in the game. Likewise, Kamikaze can avoid Bully's wrath and Cudgel's club. It's a great incentive for Kamikaze to use his power as much as if not more than a few combat points.

Addendum: The ships don't have to stick around by the cone. Place them immediately physically into the warp then simply add +4 for each such ship to whatever your total is based upon what you have left in the cone and your attack card. If you play a Negotiate, since the sacrificed ships are in the warp and not in the encounter, they already aren't counting for compensation.


 
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Just a Bill
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hadsil wrote:
Kamikaze can avoid ... Cudgel's club.

Actually he cannot. If his power helps him win, then yes, but not in the context of what we were talking about. Cudgel still smashes Kamikaze for however many ships Cudgel had in the encounter.
 
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Mi Myma
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Good point about the Bully. But I don't think the Kamikaze can avoid the Cudgel (except by winning) - because the Cudgel's power is based on the number of ships the Cudgel has in the encounter. And I guess Gambler is another power which could be avoided - few ships left in the encounter means fewer tokens at risk if you call the bluff. And what about Warpish? Are sacrificed ships considered to be in the warp for the Warpish's power? And I suppose you could also sacrifice to avoid being petrified by the Gorgon. Likewise the powers of the Busybody and Pavlov are affected by the number of ships you have in the encounter.

So that's Void, Fungus, Bully, Gambler, Warpish, Gorgon, Busybody, Pavlov - eight powers (so far!) that may be affected by this issue.

For the sake of simplicity and consistancy, sacrificed ships should be either "in the warp and not in the encounter anymore" for all purposes, or "not in the warp yet, and still in the encounter" for all purposes. Which means in the former case, that they could be sacrificed to avoid most of these powers, and to reduce the amount of compensation taken (assuming we allow the power to work with an N) and the Warpish counts the sacrifices for its total - in effect each sacrifice is only worth 3 when the opponent is the Warpish. In the latter case, the Warpish would not add the ships to his total, you'd get compensation and get rewards from the Pavlov based on the number of ships that you had in the encounter before any sacrifices were made, and likewise the powers of the Bully, Gambler, and Busybody would be based on the pre-sacrifice number of ships. I'm fine with it either way.

Another way to think of it is that sacrifices can be treated as Reinforcements. Each sacrifice is a +4 Reinforcement (and you no longer count the sacrifice itself as a ship in the encounter).
 
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Gerald Katz
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Bill Martinson wrote:
hadsil wrote:
Kamikaze can avoid ... Cudgel's club.

Actually he cannot. If his power helps him win, then yes, but not in the context of what we were talking about. Cudgel still smashes Kamikaze for however many ships Cudgel had in the encounter.


My error. Never mind.
 
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Mi Myma
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Here he is, as I illustrated him, many years ago:
 
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Maybe we can resurrect this guy ... can we find a new name so it doesn't clash with FFG Kamikaze?
 
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Well, they're not using the name Terrorist anymore. Maybe we can use that one. It fits, but might be a little too on-the-nose.

Fodder is also taken (also by a power what doesn't quite fit its name).

Divebomber (or maybe just Bomber)
Explosive - power to Self-Destruct
Morituri
Desperado - power of Nothing Left to Lose
 
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How about Jinrai.

Jinrai = thunderclap

... after Thunder Gods Corps (Jinrai Butai) of WW2 fame
 
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