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Subject: Hoarding cards, Ally reinforcing a losing Negotiate rss

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Chuckhazard
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Hope the subject line is clear enough

Just played our first game this week, and despite my admonitions that "really, its not that complicated!" opinions were mixed. There are two rules questions that came up:

1) By 3/4 of the game I had nearly all the flare cards. I had a million encounter cards in my hand, and wasn't ever going to have to discard. When I first read in the rules that a flare card gets played, then taken back into the hand, I was confused. What's to keep someone from sitting on all the flare cards? Nothing, apparently. I thought that the natural discard process (if you have no encounter cards, then you must discard your hand and re-draw) would balance this, but it really didn't. Having a ton of flare cards enabled me to avoid this, which enabled me to keep my flare cards.

2) Fairly frequently during encounters, either defense or offense would play a Negotiate card, opposing a low number encounter card. This sucks for the Allies of the Negotiator, since they automatically lose. Can Allies play reinforcement cards to win, in spite of the Negotiate card played by their Primary Player?

Thanks,
Charles

 
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Ken H.
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chuckhazard wrote:

1) By 3/4 of the game I had nearly all the flare cards.


I would guess the other players should have been more aggressive in seeking compensation from you, and/or stop inviting you to ally (which is, I assume, how you got that many cards).

If not, then it's still no big deal -- flukes happen all the time in this game.

Quote:
2) Fairly frequently during encounters, either defense or offense would play a Negotiate card, opposing a low number encounter card. This sucks for the Allies of the Negotiator, since they automatically lose. Can Allies play reinforcement cards to win, in spite of the Negotiate card played by their Primary Player?


No. Reinforcements cannot change the basic type of result (A vs A, N vs N, or A vs N). They only matter in the Attack vs Attack situation.
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Darian Tucker
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Flares can be very powerful. Which alien were you using? I assume it was Remora or something similar. As you expect, someone with all the flares and plenty of encounter cards can be very powerful. Your opponents should have tried to intentionally lose by negotiating against your attacks to thin out your hand. The only way to kill a flare that doesn't kill itself is through the usage of a Card Zap.

Ken has already correctly answered your second question.
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Big Head Zach
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chuckhazard wrote:
1) By 3/4 of the game I had nearly all the flare cards. I had a million encounter cards in my hand, and wasn't ever going to have to discard. When I first read in the rules that a flare card gets played, then taken back into the hand, I was confused. What's to keep someone from sitting on all the flare cards? Nothing, apparently. I thought that the natural discard process (if you have no encounter cards, then you must discard your hand and re-draw) would balance this, but it really didn't. Having a ton of flare cards enabled me to avoid this, which enabled me to keep my flare cards.


What power were you playing that allowed you to acquire so many cards? Or was it through repeated defensive ally rewards? Normally, once around the table, you'd be expected to play 2-3 encounter cards simply out of being offense/defense. Sometimes more, if your color is drawn multiple times during the Destiny phase.

Tell your friends: If you see someone with all the flares, RAID HIM (lose to him with Negotiate so that you can get cards from his hand). Most newbies don't realize the power of the Negotiate card and consider it an "auto-lose" card.

chuckhazard wrote:
2) Fairly frequently during encounters, either defense or offense would play a Negotiate card, opposing a low number encounter card. This sucks for the Allies of the Negotiator, since they automatically lose. Can Allies play reinforcement cards to win, in spite of the Negotiate card played by their Primary Player?


Nope. They should try to read the intentions of the main players a bit better. Don't always accept an invitation to ally unless you believe that player intends to win.
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Matt Smith
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Welcome

1. Getting a large hand size is a double-edged sword. Sure, you'll probably never have to dump your hand for not having an Encounter card; on the other hand, cycling through the deck lets you see more cards, and therefore your chances of getting something awesome are increased. Also, some aliens favor large hands or small hands.

As for keeping flares, remember that you can only play 1 flare per encounter. And flares can be the target of Card Zaps, Plagues, Compensation, and the like. So it's pretty hard to sit on them for long.

2. Heh, that's part of the game. Bluffing the Negotiate, getting allies to join you just to get them killed, sending your Ambassador to his death just to snag cards from your opponent... Good stuff!

But the answer is no. An N automatically loses, no matter what (barring an alien power like Pacifist)
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
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bhz1 wrote:
Most newbies don't realize the power of the Negotiate card and consider it an "auto-lose" card.

This is one of the most important things a newbie needs to learn quickly.

The original introduction of flares, IMO, is what completed and perfected the design of the core game engine. Before that, Compromise (Negotiate) cards felt a bit underpowered: most of the time, it was a crap-shoot on what pool you might be drawing from, since there were initially no self-revealing card types.

Then along came flares: strong, re-usable cards that advertised their presence in players' hands, virtually demanding that they be stolen or neutralized. Compromises became like gold.
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