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Subject: Power Of The Day -- Saboteur rss

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Gerald Katz
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Saboteur All/Expert

Booby Traps Planets

Game Setup: take one trap token and two decoy tokens per player (including yourself). Place these tokens facedown next to any planets of your choice. Place no more than one token next to a given planet.

You have the power to Booby Trap. Any time ships land on a planet with one of your tokens next to it, use this power to reveal the token. If the revealed token is a decoy, return the token to this sheet. If the token is a trap, send all ships on the planet (including those that just landed) to the warp and then return the token to this sheet.

At the start of each encounter, you may either swap any two of your tokens (whether next to a planet or on this sheet) or take a token on this sheet and place it facedown next to any planet that doesn't already have one of your tokens next to it.

HISTORY: Long demented by the magnetic unbalance of their own planet, the Saboteurs can see no way but their own and are determined to achieve it by violence.

FLARE

Planning
Wild: If you are a main player and share a colony with your opponent, declare your opponent's ships on one such colony hostage before encounter cards are selected. If you lose the encounter or fail to deal, the hostage ships immediately go to the warp. Hostage ships may not be removed from the colony until the encounter is ended, other than as part of a deal, regardless of other game effects.

All
Super: After revealing a decoy token, discard a negotiate card from your hand to treat the decoy as though it were a trap token.

Commentary: This is a rules power. This power is Terrorist renamed and redone. I don't mind the rename. The redo I do. The determination not to have people need to get pen and paper to write down stuff hurts this power.

#1) Saboteur can not place more than one trap on a planet as Terrorist could. Not that people regularly did this, but the option was there.

#2) Some planets will not have tokens at all. Players will know these planets are absolutely safe. While indirectly forcing players to utilize particular planets may have some effect, players can be willing to do so to avoid your power for as long as possible. With Terrorist, all planets were potential targets. Players had to risk planet choices. They would choose poorly to your benefit.

#3) The timing for a Cosmic Zap is different than Terrorist, which is in Saboteur's favor but that means players have more incentive to delay your power use for as long as possible. With Terrorist, a player can zap the power when the bomb goes off, nullifying it. With Saboteur, a player can only zap it when a token is to be revealed. That means the token is not revealed, it is not known if it's a trap or decoy, and it remains there until some future time a player risks landing ships there. The Cosmic Zap still has value as a free pass to a planet with a token.

Overall I do not dislike the power. I would need to see it in play to see how it affects the game via players purposely concentrating on absolutely safe planets. The change in Cosmic Zap vulnerability may be enough compensation.

Gerald Katz
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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There is another benefit to the new version, and it's significant: you can move your bombs around. Rather than have to wait for them all to detonate, re-hide all five at once, and then wait for all of them to explode again, you have the flexibility to slide bombs right underneath planets. This can be used to discourage your opponents from reinforcing weakly defended planets, allow suicide missions to take away others' foreign colonies, etc.

Combine this with the bluff capabilities of constantly moving bomb and/or decoy tokens around, and there are some sharp new teeth here. It's a different power now, to be sure, but I don't think it got weaker. It might even be stronger, and it's definitely more tactical.
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Ido Abelman
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hadsil wrote:
Some planets will not have tokens at all. Players will know these planets are absolutely safe.

No planet is absolutely safe - you can always use the power to slip a bomb under there.
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Gerald Katz
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CBpegasus wrote:
hadsil wrote:
Some planets will not have tokens at all. Players will know these planets are absolutely safe.

No planet is absolutely safe - you can always use the power to slip a bomb under there.


The trap had to been set off already and be on your sheet. There's always another planet without a token, and that planet is absolutely safe. A particular planet may not be absolutely safe forever of the game, but there will be absolutely safe planets at any given time.
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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hadsil wrote:
there will be absolutely safe planets at any given time.

Yes, but the point is that they don't remain safe for very long at all. With Terrorist, if a bomb didn't go off then you knew you were good until all the bombs were found and he picked up the pencil again. With Saboteur, he can swap a token there within a couple of minutes of you getting ships on that planet, and then nobody knows whether it's safe to add more ships there or not. The owner of that home planet might even add a ship there hoping it's booby-trapped.
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Jefferson Krogh
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I can see both points here. Saboteur is a bit tricky. You have to explain to all players in advance that 'land' doesn't mean just 'gain a colony.' It means 'put a ship down.'

Also, you have to be clear on when you can Zap this -- after he reveals the token, or before. I don't mean to spread the "zap vs. Super Flare" discussion here, but for Saboteur I think it makes a big, big difference.
 
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Quote:
You have to explain to all players in advance that 'land' doesn't mean just 'gain a colony.' It means 'put a ship down.'


I know this is an old thread but I wanted to get some clarification here after playing with the Saboteur for the first time last night.

It says "Any time ships land on a planet with one of your tokens next to it, use this power to reveal the token". Does this include when a player retrieves a ship during the regroup phase and place it on one of their home colonies that otherwise hasn't seen any action? Would that activate Saboteur's power? Or if a player sends some ships to be defensive allies and then returns them to their original planets...would returning those ships to their planets activate Saboteur's power?

The way the card describes it and based on what you said it makes me think yes. However we felt that wasn't the intention/spirit of Saboteur so we just played it that tokens were revealed only when a new colony is established.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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imnotaspy wrote:
Quote:
You have to explain to all players in advance that 'land' doesn't mean just 'gain a colony.' It means 'put a ship down.'


I know this is an old thread but I wanted to get some clarification here after playing with the Saboteur for the first time last night.

It says "Any time ships land on a planet with one of your tokens next to it, use this power to reveal the token". Does this include when a player retrieves a ship during the regroup phase and place it on one of their home colonies that otherwise hasn't seen any action? Would that activate Saboteur's power?


Yes. Saboteur is mean like that! devil

Quote:
Or if a player sends some ships to be defensive allies and then returns them to their original planets...would returning those ships to their planets activate Saboteur's power?


Yes. Cue Admiral Ackbar!

Quote:
The way the card describes it and based on what you said it makes me think yes. However we felt that wasn't the intention/spirit of Saboteur so we just played it that tokens were revealed only when a new colony is established.


No, that was the intent. IT'S A TRAP! whistle
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