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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Please help with Plants' power rss

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Sebastian Grawan
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Hi!

We don't seem to fully understand the usefulnes of Plants' power as it seems to happpen so late in any encounter.

How are we supposed to effectively use Plant?

Thanks!!
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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Can't help you there, as I think you've identified the problem with FFG's Plant. By restricting its timing FFG made it useless with fully one-third of the powers in the base set and Incursion. (I haven't checked the Conflict aliens yet.)

Other players will be able to defend it better and probably give examples of winning the game with Plant, but I have to wonder if everyone even noticed that it has been profoundly gimped, or just played it like the older versions. In any event, they either won in spite of having Plant or just got lucky that their opponents mostly drew powers that could be grafted.

I never liked Plant much because of all the rulings headaches, and the new version has both rulings headaches and the potential to be impotent on the battlefield.
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Sebastian Grawan
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I see, Plant really seems to be somewhat flawed in it's current state.
 
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Adam Rouse
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It says before challenge cards are played in the previous editions, too. Maybe it was intended as "any time before challenge cards are played," but the wording is pretty close. FFG just makes it clearer by bringing that key phrase to the beginning of the power description.
 
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Sebastian Grawan
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It would be a much more useful power if Plant could just graft another power at the start of its turn. but maybe this would be too powerful...
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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I vaguely recall a thread here where we talked about Plant. At least a couple of people wondered if the timing strip on Plant was simply incorrect. I tend to think that's the case, but don't remember what we decided (aside from Plant being troublesome by nature).
 
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Sebastian Grawan
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Is there no official response from FFG on this matter?
 
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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I wouldn't expect an official response. FFG is pretty slow to respond, and seems to generally avoid issues where it looks like they may have made a mistake. Your best bet may be to see if you can stir up a conversation here in the forums, or just come up with your own house rule that your play group is content with. Cosmic Encounter is the best board game ever invented, but basically it's a "finish it yourself at home" kit.
 
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Greg Filpus
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Other players will be able to defend it better and probably give examples of winning the game with Plant, but I have to wonder if everyone even noticed that it has been profoundly gimped, or just played it like the older versions. In any event, they either won in spite of having Plant or just got lucky that their opponents mostly drew powers that could be grafted.


My anecdote is when a newbie invited Plant to offensively ally against Virus in the first couple turns. It just went downhill from there.

The way I see it, there's a fair subset of nasty powers that only take effect between Planning and Resolution; Jack calls them the Combat powers in The Warp. And if Plant gets just one of those powers, he's better off than its original owner: he can use it every encounter, he doesn't have to use it even if it's mandatory, and when facing the original owner, the original owner has no power (unless it's also before encounter cards are selected and the original owner goes first via Timing Rule). If he gets two, that's just a bonus.
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GregF wrote:


The way I see it, there's a fair subset of nasty powers that only take effect between Planning and Resolution; Jack calls them the Combat powers in The Warp. And if Plant gets just one of those powers, he's better off than its original owner: he can use it every encounter, he doesn't have to use it even if it's mandatory, and when facing the original owner, the original owner has no power (unless it's also before encounter cards are selected and the original owner goes first via Timing Rule). If he gets two, that's just a bonus.


Exactly. Especially in a 5-6 player game, Or a 3-4 player duel power game, chances are very good that there will be at least 1 combat power for Plant to steal. I would say its likely that Plant would have more than 1 to target/ choose from.

Letting Plant graft any alien power effectively would be too powerful in my opinion.

How strong Plant is in a game is a byproduct of what other powers are in. I can live with that. Even with the timing the way it is, Plant is still a very tough alien to go against.
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Just a Bill
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Okay, you guys make a good point. I sometimes forget about the trick of getting optional use of a mandatory power. Certainly this can be horrendously powerful if you luck out and have something like Macron in the same game (4x4=16 vs. 1x1=1 makes for a very, very sad game for Macron).

So I guess I'm bipolar in my dislike of Plant; either it sucks because you lost the lottery and there are no good powers to graft; or it rocks because you got your tendrils into Virus or Macron in the early game. Maybe that averages out somehow. I just don't ever feel like signing up for the rules headaches, but I guess I should give it a try sometime.
 
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Sebastian Grawan
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That brings me to the question: when do players show themselves which alien power they'll choose for the current game? After they have drawn their two flare cards and have chosen one of the aliens? When do they tell the other players of their choice? At the very end, shortly before the game starts?

If players would anounce their choice of powers somewhat early, a Plant player could judge better if it'd be a wise choice to choose Plant at all.
 
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This was my quick count looking through all the powers:
58 alien powers that Plant grafts effectively.
31 alien powers that Plant cannot graft effectively.
So,
Plant vs. 2 other random aliens:
Plant can effectively grant at least 1 other power about 88% of the time.

vs. 3 other random aliens it goes up to about 96% of the time.
Vs. 4 others, its almost 99%.

In a 5-6 player game, or a smaller one with duel powers, its just about impossible for Plant to be hosed.
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rashktah wrote:

If players would anounce their choice of powers somewhat early, a Plant player could judge better if it'd be a wise choice to choose Plant at all.


Knowing this, everyone in our group insists on announcing our choices together, after everyone has chosen.
 
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Gerald Katz
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Change Plant to be used when Mayfair had it at pointing the cone which is the Launch phase for Fantasy Flight.

Plant is powerful, yes, but not monopolizing the game.

She's just a mean green mother from outer space.
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Big Head Zach
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...feed me...
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