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Subject: Homebrew Idea - Phoenix rss

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David Dawson
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EDIT: June, 16th 2011. Added updated flare. Might get some playtesting in this weekend!

EDIT: I added a power card and flare. Note: the power is intended to be yellow, but I forgot while making the power card, so the final product is red. The flare is correct, though, so when playing the power can be with the proper set of power levels. In addition, I edited the Super. I realized it was a little weak as written so it now plays more like the Wild and gives a lot better boost. It's also a bit more like the more thematic suggestions in this thread. Thanks again for all the input!

PHOENIX You have the power of Regeneration.

Whenever you lose an encounter as the defense in which both main players played attack cards, use this power to reestablish your colony on the same planet with the same number of ships. These ships must be taken from your other colonies (you choose which ones), and the ships you had there originally still go to the warp. The new colony coexists with the colonies that the offense and their allies just established. After you have reestablished a colony in this manner, draw a flare from the deck of unused flares and add it to your hand.

History: An intelligent avian species, the Phoenix have an ancient tradition of incinerating the bodies of their fallen warriors so that they may rise again even stronger in the next life. But with the advent of advanced nuclear fusion technology, this ritual has been radically altered. The cosmic energies that the Phoenix now control make even the strongest of other races envious.

Wild: At the start of your turn, play this card to free all ships that belong to you from the warp, returning them to any of your colonies. Afterwards, give this flare to the Phoenix. If the Phoenix is not playing, discard this flare to use it.

Super: You may move any number of your ships onto the targeted planet to reestablish your colony. These ships may come from your existing colonies, the warp or some combination of both. Your ships that participated in the encounter must still go to the warp.

Comments: This power is mandatory. Phoenix is getting flares when he loses, but is also gradually spreading his ships very thin. It's still possible to lose his power if he's forced to abandon any of his home colonies (or that happens through some other effect). In addition, people might start playing negotiates against you to prevent the usage of your power and get at the flares in your hand.

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Mil Myman
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Are you familiar with Eon's Aristocrat? It also draws Flares from the unused Flare deck. One difference is that it must discard a Flare if it has one when it does this, so it doesn't keep getting more and more flares. That may not be necessary for the Phoenix.

The Phoenix would probably be too powerful in a game using the Freewheeling Flares variant, but it seems about right for the standard rules.
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Sean Franco
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This is an interesting idea. Drawing a flare can be hit or miss, but could wind up being very powerful--but also make you an ideal target for someone to drop an N on. Then where have all of those flares gone? Maybe a separate Flare hand...?

Thematically, I think that you should be able to keep one of your ships that go to the Warp instead of bring in outside ships. A phoenix rises from the ashes, not from next door. Consequently, I would also try to think about a different Super flare. As is, the Super is what I would expect from the alien power. Perhaps have the Super allow you to look through the deck of unused flares and take one...
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David Dawson
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logopolys wrote:
This is an interesting idea. Drawing a flare can be hit or miss, but could wind up being very powerful--but also make you an ideal target for someone to drop an N on. Then where have all of those flares gone? Maybe a separate Flare hand...?

Thematically, I think that you should be able to keep one of your ships that go to the Warp instead of bring in outside ships. A phoenix rises from the ashes, not from next door. Consequently, I would also try to think about a different Super flare. As is, the Super is what I would expect from the alien power. Perhaps have the Super allow you to look through the deck of unused flares and take one...


That's not a bad variation on the power. The flare part was actually kind of secondary, what I really liked about the power was that you got to keep your colony, but had to take ships from somewhere else. So basically you're losing the ships you would have lost anyway, and reducing your ship presence throughout the rest of your empire. It could get tricky, I think, when you're trying to load up the hyperspace gate, and you'll have to be a little more thoughtful with your alliances as well. You could have a lot of one ship colonies that would be vulnerable.

But in exchange you can keep your colony, and get flares that might mitigate these disadvantages. You also can discard low attack cards and hope to use your power for flares early on.

I know of Aristocrat, but have never owned a set that had him in it (next expansion?). But I also had a different idea for a Super that would do something similar, but for offense.

Super: As the offense, if you lose your encounter, draw a flare from the deck of unused flares, then discard one of the flares from your hand to a discard pile near the unused flare deck. That flare is removed from the game.

Great input so far!
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Just a Bill
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David, your Phoenix is better than both of the versions on The Warp, so I say keep the name if you like it. (Seniority is trumped by the quality of the homebrew.)

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Aristocrat ... must discard a Flare if it has one when it does this, so it doesn't keep getting more and more flares. That may not be necessary for the Phoenix.

Agreed ... Phoenix's gaining of flares would be much less frequent than Aristocrat's, so it seems okay without the discard requirement. And fun! It would be an interesting change of pace to play a game with "too many" flares, since they'll eventually spread out to the other players through compensation and other thefty actions.

logopolys wrote:
Thematically, I think that you should be able to keep one of your ships that go to the Warp instead of bring in outside ships. A phoenix rises from the ashes, not from next door. Consequently, I would also try to think about a different Super flare. As is, the Super is what I would expect from the alien power. Perhaps have the Super allow you to look through the deck of unused flares and take one...

I had the same reaction. David, I know the ship movement was "the thing" for you when you designed it, but when I read it I was going "ho hum, saves my defensive home planet, I wonder if I should keep readi— wait, what? Free flares? Cool!"

I thought it was a clever way to take a thematic effect that wouldn't be very strong in the game (a limited form of Zombie) and make it cool with a unique and powerful benefit. But like Sean, I desperately want the "rising from the ashes" part to be as thematic as possible. Consider something like this as a possibility (using the Ethic/Industrialist wording template here):

As the defense, after you lose an encounter in which both players revealed attack cards, use this power. Your losing ships go to the warp normally, but are temporarily separated from any other ships you already have in the warp. At the end of the encounter, if you still have any ships in the warp that did not participate in this encounter, retrieve one to four of them and place them on the targeted planet, then draw a flare from the unused flare deck and add it to your hand.

I suggest the little "ship shuffle" mechanic to avoid the situation where other players could essentially never knock you off a home planet. This way, whenever you have no ships in the warp (at game start, following a Mobius Tubes, etc.), you can lose a planet normally (and you don't get a flare).

It's also a very interesting decision how many ships to take out of the warp when using your power ... you want to keep your colonies strong, but you also don't ever want to be out of dead ships when you're the defense!

dawson_osu wrote:
Super: As the offense, if you lose your encounter, draw a flare from the deck of unused flares, then discard one of the flares from your hand to a discard pile near the unused flare deck. That flare is removed from the game.

I am a strong advocate for making a change to Aristocrat that would also apply here: "After you [Aristocrat] have drawn your first unused flare in this manner, whenever you draw another, if you have any in your hand that do not match any players' alien powers, you must choose one of those unmatched flares and remove it from the game."

Permanently destroying other players' Super flares from the game is fun for the guy doing it, but can be a very negative play experience for everyone else. For your proposed Super I would suggest "As the offense, if you lose the encounter, draw a flare from the deck of unused flares. Then, if you have any other flares in your hand that do not match any players' alien powers, you must choose one of those unmatched flares and remove it from the game."

What about this as a Super: "You may use your power as a losing ally." Note that this works whether you are an offensive or defensive ally, and I worded the base power such that it also works from this ally perspective. Granted, you'll probably only get to use this once, but any Super flare that gets me even one extra foreign colony is good enough for me.
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Jack Reda
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I added it to the Warp, and took the liberty of changing "power of Regeneration" to "power of Rebirth", since Mutant has the power of Regeneration. I like the power as is.
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Gerald Katz
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I like it. I learned Immigrant from Matt Stone, which is similar but instead of gaining a Flare works as offensive player as well:

IMMIGRANT Resolution/Novice

Shares Colonies With Other Players

You have the power to assimilate. If you win the encounter as the offensive player, use this power to have your opponent's ships remain on the planet. If you lose the encounter as defensive player, use this power to have your ships remain on the planet. In both cases ships are not considered lost, either to the warp or a power. However, compensation is still taken as appropriate.

HISTORY: As the great cosmic war develops, countless refugees travel among the stars. While they have no desire to force others from their homes, neither do they want to leave their own.

FLARE

All
Wild: Swap colonies with any one player. You choose which colonies get swapped. All of your ships and all of one player's ships on a colony swap planets. Give this card to Immigrant if in the game; otherwise, discard after use.

Resolution
Super: As a winning defensive ally, you may also establish a colony on the defensive planet.

 
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David Dawson
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My first power gets on The Warp? Awesome. :D

I think the ship management part of this power is really important, but obviously the flares are the real meat of it.

I want to spread Phoenix's ships thin, but I'm not really sure whether "from the warp" or "from other colonies" is going to accomplish that better. Bill's idea of requiring that he have ships in the warp at all times would definitely thin out the rest of his colonies (and I agree it's a bit more thematic). I also like both flares, but agree that Bill's Super will get used EXACTLY once before no one invites you to ally again.

But I don't think the fact that Phoenix will only very rarely lose home colonies would be that big of a problem. You won't have too many ships on most of them, and have to make sure you have enough ships everywhere to load up the gate when you're on offense. In addition, low ship counts will make you a target for people to attack and gain colonies, as you'll probably have a few less ships to add to the total (and in most cases will maybe want to lose anyway). But in exchange for easier foreign colonies, other players have to deal with you getting more powerful through flares.

I guess my original version is still thematic, enough, though. The Colony is really what's getting reborn here.

I'm about 50-50 now on which would work better, so I guess I have to try and playtest...

I will make flare and power card mockups of the original version here in the next few days and post them in this thread.
 
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I like the original post. I keep reading it thinking that surely that Wild has been done before (but apparently not), or that Super is like Zombie ... but then allows the ships to re-establish a colony. Overall, simple & clean idea. Good one.
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Mil Myman
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Bill Martinson wrote:
David, your Phoenix is better than both of the versions on The Warp, so I say keep the name if you like it. (Seniority is trumped by the quality of the homebrew.)

Yes! The best names should be reserved for the best ideas.

dawson_osu wrote:
My first power gets on The Warp? Awesome.

Don't get a big head about it. The Warp isn't really an "exclusive" club. There's no screening for quality there. Which is not really what it's supposed to be - this isn't a criticism of The Warp, but there are awesome powers there, and completely stupid powers there.
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David Dawson
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Quote:
Don't get a big head about it. The Warp isn't really an "exclusive" club. There's no screening for quality there. Which is not really what it's supposed to be - this isn't a criticism of The Warp, but there are awesome powers there, and completely stupid powers there.


Very true, I realize it's just a database of ALL the powers out there. But it's still cool to have a new idea out there in the little "Cosmic Community", especially when so much variation is present already.
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Big Head Zach
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
dawson_osu wrote:
My first power gets on The Warp? Awesome.

Don't get a big head about it. The Warp isn't really an "exclusive" club. There's no screening for quality there. Which is not really what it's supposed to be - this isn't a criticism of The Warp, but there are awesome powers there, and completely stupid powers there.


Bizarro.
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Sean Franco
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bhz1 wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
dawson_osu wrote:
My first power gets on The Warp? Awesome.

Don't get a big head about it. The Warp isn't really an "exclusive" club. There's no screening for quality there. Which is not really what it's supposed to be - this isn't a criticism of The Warp, but there are awesome powers there, and completely stupid powers there.


Bizarro.

What... the... Hell.
 
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mar hawkman
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the exact opposite of a pithy Power!

this rules! I so have got to try it sometime!
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David Dawson
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Original post edited with suggestions. Now features art!
 
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mar hawkman
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I like that version.
 
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When using your super, can you still reestablish your colony from your other colonies AND bring ships from the warp?

If so, an alternative wording suggestion ... something like ...

Super: When using your power, you may retrieve any number of your ships from the warp (that didn't just participate in the encounter) to reestablish your colony, in addition to those you brought from your existing colonies (if any). When retrieving ships from the warp, you are not limited to the number of your ships that participated in the encounter.
 
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David Dawson
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I think my wording might still allow you to do this, but when I wrote it I was kind of thinking you couldn't. Either you can use your power normally or you can play your Super and retrieve all your ships from the warp to use it. I don't think you're going to want to mix and match in most cases anyway, at least if you have any significant amount of your ships in the warp. But I definitely see the benefit of being able to do that, like if you only have one or two ships in the warp. I'll have to take a better look at the wording later today.
 
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David Dawson
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How's this version? Simpler, a lot more flexibility, but the same effect we're going for.

Super: You may move any number of your ships onto the targeted planet to reestablish your colony. These ships may come from your existing colonies, the warp or some combination of both. Your ships that participated in the encounter must still go to the warp.
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mar hawkman
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Works I guess.
 
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No ambiguity there.
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