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Subject: Better review of FAQ 1.0 - more errors than originally thought rss

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Cosmic Encounter » Forums » Rules
Better review of FAQ 1.0 - more errors than originally thought
I finally found the time to sit down and do a more thorough review of the FAQ. In contrast to the three errors reported earlier, I've now found 10 or so actual ruling errors and a comparable number of incomplete, mis-stated, or confusing entries that require clarification. In the interest of brevity, I am omitting the entries that I didn't find any issues worth commenting on. Note that some entries occur twice in the FAQ; I will address them only the first time they appear.

Mind Flare
The wild flare should read, "Whenever another player draws a card from the deck, you may use this flare. For the rest of this encounter, each time that player must draw a card from the deck, you may draw it instead, look at it, and then give it to him or her. You may not share this information with the other players."


This entry should have also amended the flare's prerequisite bar (Main Player Only) and timing bar (Alliance) because they are nonsensical for this game text (with or without the errata). Perhaps there was a copy-and-paste error during production, as Mind's alphabetical near-neighbor Mite has the same (relatively rare) combination of bars on its Wild flare. In any event, there needs to be official errata changing the bars to As Any Player and Any Phase, respectively.

(Thanks to Toomai Glittershine for finding my gaffe on Warrior, which has been deleted.)

Q: What is a "challenge"?
A: "Challenge" is an old term for "encounter" that slipped through in a couple of places.

Q: What is the "cone"?
A: "Cone" is an old term for the "hyperspace gate" that slipped through in a couple of places.


So far I have only found "challenge" on Super Tick-Tock and "cone" on Super Macron and Super Oracle.

Missing from the FAQ, though, is a similar entry explaining that "token" on Super Gambler is an old term for "ship" that also slipped through.

Q: What happens if a player needs to draw a new hand and both the cosmic deck and discard pile are empty?
A: Cosmic Quake! Every player discards his or her hand, and the discard pile is shuffled to make a new deck, then 8 cards are dealt to each player.


The FAQ does not define what happens when a quake produces insufficient cards to resolve the situation. Here is a suggested remedy:

If the Cosmic Quake does not free up enough cards to fill all players' hands and also meet whatever card-drawing need produced the quake in the first place, use this alternate procedure to avoid a quake-after-quake loop: Gather all players' hands, shuffle them together, and deal out the cards to every player plus one "dummy" hand, as far as they will go evenly. If there are leftovers that can't be dealt evenly, add them to the dummy hand. Dummy then becomes the cosmic deck.

Q: What cards can be played when you have a lien on your hand (that is, someone is trying to collect compensation from you)?
A: Any cards that may legally be played before compensation is taken may be played. So, you could play a reinforcement card to get it out of your hand before compensation is taken, for instance.


This answer's first sentence is correct, but the second sentence was initially deemed incorrect on the grounds that reinforcements must be played before the outcome is determined and compensation must be collected after. This was based on a perception that the question was trying to explain which cards are playable when someone is trying to collect compensation.

Upon further reflection, it appears that the entry may have been trying to answer a different question: what cards are playable between the time when compensation becomes "scheduled to occur" (i.e., at the moment encounter cards are revealed) and the time when the act of collecting it begins? In other words, does compensation create a so-called lien on your hand, restricting you from playing any cards that would otherwise be legally playable?

If this was the intended question, and if the intended answer was that there are no special restrictions or "liens", then reinforcements would be a valid example of cards that could be played after compensation became an issue but before it begins to be collected upon.

In that case, rather than label the FAQ entry's example as "not valid" I should have categorized the entire entry as misleading, in part because of its unfortunate use of the term "lien". A lien is a restriction or "hold" on some type of property intended to guarantee payment of a debt. The FAQ entry seems to essentially define compensation as a lien (in the question), and then imply, somewhat indirectly, that there is no lien (in the answer).

If players are not restricted from playing cards before compensation is collected, then compensation is not a lien — only a debt that could end up getting paid fully, partly, or not at all. Thus, the answer to this FAQ entry might be better recast as follows:

A: Compensation does not create any kind of "lien" or "hold" or "freeze" on your hand. You are free to use any cards that may be legally played before compensation begins to be collected. So, you could play a reinforcement card to get it out of your hand before compensation is taken, for instance. However, once the opportunity to play such cards has passed and compensation begins, then it is too late. For example, you cannot wait to see if Hacker is going to target you before deciding whether to "dump" your reinforcement cards, because the time to affect encounter totals has already passed.

The first sentence in the answer is correct, but the reinforcement-card example is actually not valid, since reinforcements must be played before the outcome of the encounter is determined and compensation must occur after. In the typical case this point is moot, because the player can (usually) "see the loss coming" and ditch his reinforcements while the outcome is still pending. But this is not always the case. For example, when a player discovers that Hacker is targeting him for compensation, it is too late to play any reinforcements because the outcome was already determined. So although it is possible to "ditch" reinforcements to sabotage compensation (if the need is anticipated and done in advance), reinforcement cards do not actually qualify as cards that can be played when there is a lien on your hand (because then it's too late).

Q: Can you play reinforcements on your side if you played an attack, but your opponent played a negotiate?
A: Yes.


This question is poorly worded and thus misleading: the phrase "on your side" seems to imply that reinforcements can be played only on sides that revealed an attack card, but the FAQ ruling that Human can be zapped when he reveals a negotiate card seems to imply that modifiers to a player's total apply regardless of what type of card the player reveals. If a negotiating Human is zappable, then a negotiating alien would similarly be reinforceable.

The obvious omission here is "what if both players revealed a negotiate?" This entry should address the larger question: Can reinforcements be played on either side of an encounter regardless of which kind of encounter card(s) are being played by either player? (The entry for Human implies that the answer is "yes".)

Q: Is there a difference between winning an encounter and having a successful encounter?
A: No.


This answer is incorrect, or at least highly misleading, because it implies that there is no difference between a win and making a deal. In fact, winning an encounter is one way of having a successful encounter; making a deal is another way of having a successful encounter. But the two are not interchangeable. "Successful encounter" is the umbrella condition that determines (for example) whether you can make a second challenge. But a deal does not count as a "win" for effects that do not explicitly mention deals, such as Cudgel, Barbarian, Guerrilla, and Leviathan.

There is the possibility that a third kind of successful encounter exists. The FFG rules say "When drawing his or her own color, if a player has a home planet with no ships on it at all (enemy or otherwise), then he or she may aim the hyperspace gate at that planet to automatically re-establish a colony there with up to four ships from other colonies. Doing so counts as a successful encounter."

This is a true statement. However, it would resolve even more rules questions (and probably be safer overall) to define this not just as a successful encounter, but as a win. The situation is perfectly parallel to that of landing on an unoccupied moon, which is defined as follows in the Eon rulebook: "On your challenge you can take one to four tokens in the cone to any Moon in the system indicated by the Destiny Pile. If the Moon is not occupied by another player, move the tokens which are on the cone onto the Moon. No challenge cards are played. This counts as a challenge which you have "won," but there is no defensive player or loser."

Q: When you draw your own color from the destiny pile, and you want to automatically establish a colony on your planet, do you go through all of the challenge phases? Do you go through any of them past "destiny"?
A: No.


This is incorrect according to the rulebook:

Page 7, under heading If a Color is Drawn: "When drawing his or her own color, if a player has a home planet with no ships on it at all (enemy or otherwise), then he or she may aim the hyperspace gate at that planet to automatically re-establish a colony there."

Page 12, under heading Driving Out Foreign Colonies: "Note: If there is a planet in a player's home system with no ships on it, aiming the hyperspace gate at that planet allows the player to automatically reestablish a colony on that planet."

Thus, at least a Launch phase must occur, which means effects that trigger during Launch (e.g., Macron, Super Observer) are relevant.

(It remains to be clarified whether Will can use his power to reclaim an unoccupied home planet.)

Q: Are the terms of a deal EXPLICITLY RESTRICTED to one or more of the following categories:
* granting a single colony on a planet you already occupy
* giving cards from your hand
*specialized use of your power where indicated (such as Zombie's regeneration)

A: No, but either colonies or cards must change hands. Anything else you choose to negotiate with is up to you. Any other terms you set are not enforced (i.e. if you agree not to ally against each other, either of you may break that portion of the deal.)


This answer appears to be incorrect, and directly contradicts the next entry in the FAQ:

Q: Can you trade tech cards in a deal?
A: No.


This second answer is the correct one (contradicting the previous FAQ entry) because the rules do not allow anything other than colonies and cards: "In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the player already has a colony. In this way each main player may gain a new colony and/or new cards." This is a very close restating of the 1982 Eon rule (sans Lucre reference). Further evidence that deals are highly constrained rather than open-ended can be found in the original Eon wording for Diplomat: "No player may gain more than is allowed in the rules under 'Making a Deal', that is one base and cards from other dealing players."

Q: Can you Cosmic Zap a flare when the player is using it to use his own power (say as an ally when otherwise he can't use his power as an ally)?
A: Yes.


While it is essentially true that a Cosmic Zap is (usually) playable in this scenario, the single-word answer is misleading because it is not possible to "Cosmic Zap a flare". You can Cosmic Zap a power that is being enhanced by a flare, but players need to understand that this is very different from Card Zapping the flare itself. (For one thing, the latter causes the flare to be discarded but the former does not. The next FAQ entry we will discuss below validates this point.)

It is also worth noting that not all Super flares require the use of the underlying power. Many do enhance the alien power, but some simply provide an independent benefit. For example, Cosmic Zap is not applicable during the use of the Super flares for Anti-Matter, Clone, Kamikaze, Machine, Masochist, Observer, Pacifist, Remora, Disease, Ethic*, Genius, Mercenary*, Plant, Sniveler, and Symbiote because the player is not using any part of those aliens' power texts. (Card Zap still applies, of course.)

* Super Ethic and Super Mercenary are usable either with or without the underlying power, since those two aliens extend the circumstances under which compensation and rewards may be collected.

Q: If you Cosmic Zap a player that is using his Super flare, does he discard the flare, or does he have to play the wild?
A: Neither. The flare remains in his hand, but he may use the wild flare while his power is zapped.


As mentioned above, it is true that when a Super has the rug pulled out from under it because the underlying power was Cosmic Zapped, the Super returns to the player's hand (in contrast to a Card Zapped flare, which must be discarded).

However, this entry's statement that "he may use the wild flare while his power is zapped" is incorrect. The rules are quite clear that each flare can be used only once per encounter (and the Cosmic Zap lasts until the end of the encounter). This is reinforced by the first alien-specific FAQ answer for Anti-Matter (see next entry below), which reiterates that a "prevented flare may not be played again that encounter".

The confusion may stem from the 1982 Eon rule which said "When you have lost the use of your Alien Power (even temporarily) your Super Flare is a Wild Flare." Eon did not have a rule restricting flares to only one use per encounter, so under Eon it was valid to immediately re-play a Super for its Wild effect after getting your power zapped.

If this FAQ entry intends to create a special exception that allows a nullified Super to be played a second time as a Wild during the same encounter, then this needs to be made clear, and the following entry should be carefully considered before any new statements are made that further complicate the use of flares.

Q: If Anti-Matter's flare is used to prevent another flare being played, is the prevented flare kept in hand? Also, does it count against that player's limit of one flare per encounter?
A: The prevented flare is kept in hand. Since the player was prevented from playing the flare (rather than having it be cancelled), the prevented flare does not count against the player’s limit of one flare per encounter. However, remember that the prevented flare may not be played again that encounter.


This entry, combined with other rules and FAQ entries on flares, seems to be stating the following:
* A flare which is played and then canceled uses up both your ability to play a flare this encounter and that particular flare's ability to be played (by anyone) this encounter.
* A flare which is played and then prevented does not use up your ability to play a flare this encounter but does use up that particular flare's ability to be played this encounter.

It is unclear why this complexity is necessary.

Q: If the Citadel's power is lost or discarded, are the citadels discarded or not?
A: No, they remain in play, but serve no function.


This answer is correct based on the alien sheet's text, and certainly Citadel should not have to lose all of his citadels just because he got zapped. However, if the alien sheet is discarded, then leaving the cards lying around stuck in place for the rest of the game is messy; it's a shame Citadel didn't also say "If this power is removed from the game, all the citadels are discarded". (I recommend this as a house rule.)

Q: Can Filch take Gambler's unrevealed card, and if so, can he notify the table whether the truth was told?
A: Filch may take it, but he may not show it to the other players. He may make whatever claims about the Gambler's truthfulness he likes, of course.


This answer is incorrect. Filch cannot take Gambler's unrevealed card, because Filch thieves cards specifically "from the discard pile" and Gambler does not discard his unrevealed card (the power says "place your encounter card facedown on the bottom of the deck instead of discarding it.").

Q: Why does Gambler say "Do not use with Sorcerer"?
A: Because it's not much of a bluff if Sorcerer has already seen the card. But, if this doesn't bother you, feel free to go ahead and use them together, since other matchups in the game can be just about as bad.


What this entry says is correct, but it is quite easy to make these two powers work together quite nicely by adding the following to Gambler:

"If another effect switches your encounter cards (e.g., Sorcerer), you may still bluff about the card you originally played. In this case your opponent must accept or challenge your claim about the card that he is about to reveal."

Q: Can Human be zapped to win if both cards are Ns?
A: Yes. And yes, his opponent will receive compensation if the opponent loses ships to the warp.


The second part of this answer is incorrect. Compensation is awarded only when three things happen in conjunction: (1) you reveal a negotiate card; (2) your opponent reveals an attack card; and (3) you lose ships to the warp as a result. (Losing the encounter is a fourth likely condition, but there is some ambiguity about this in the rules.)

Page 10, under heading If One Player Reveals an Attack Card and the Other Reveals a Negotiate Card: "The player who played the negotiate card loses the encounter automatically. However, the losing player will get to claim compensation...."

Page 11, under heading Compensation: "When one player plays a negotiate and his opponent plays an attack card, the player who played the negotiate card gets to collect compensation."

The text on the Negotiate cards reinforces this as well: "Opposed by Attack: Loses, but collects compensation."

Thus, Human's opponent cannot receive compensation because Human did not reveal an attack card.

Q: Can Observer, as an ally, lose ships outside the encounter? (Such as Grudge or Wild Void.)
A: No, Observer may protect ships outside the encounter, only if he is an ally.


The first word of this answer is correct, but the rest of the sentence is less than correct (may instead of must) and probably leaves the wrong impression about Wild Void. Here is a more complete answer:

A: No, Observer must protect all of his ships, whether inside or outside the encounter, when he is an ally (and similarly must protect all of his allies' ships when he is a main player). Thus, as an ally, when Observer receives a Grudge token he does not lose 1 or 4 ships to the warp but may instead relocate that number to different colonies if he wishes*, and he may use Wild Void without paying the cost of losing a ship (see ruling for Zombie/Wild Kamikaze). This power applies only during the Resolution phase, as indicated by Observer's timing bar.

* Like Zombie, Observer still has to "start to lose" the ships, then place them back on any of his colonies. Thus, in rare cases, he might still lose one or more colonies if he doesn't have 1 or 4 ships that he can pick up all at the same time without abandoning a planet.

Note, however, that the Zombie/Wild Kamikaze ruling referenced by the above statements is inconsistent with the Zombie/compensation ruling (more on that below).

(Thanks to CBpegasus for helping me understand what the FAQ was trying to say here and pointing out how I inverted my yesses and nos. Thanks also to Toomai Glittershine for reminding me how Pacifist is supposed to interact with Loser and Human; I've deleted the Pacifist/Loser entry.)

Q: If the Trader becomes the defense, but has no cards in his/her hand, does the Trader get to use his/her power to trade hands and give his opponent an empty hand?
A: No. The very first thing that happens during the Planning phase is that the defense draws a new hand if needed. No other Planning effects may occur before this takes place.


This looks like an erratum and should have been indicated as such, not buried in a ruling for Trader. The rulebook never states that a new hand is the "very first thing" in the planning phase, and in fact says only that it happens "during" the planning phase.

Worse, however, is the fact that this change actually breaks the encounter mechanic and implies some ugly rules baggage. I've written a much more detailed article on this topic, the conclusion of which is that this ruling should be ignored and defense hand refreshes should be allowed any time during the Planning phase before cards are selected, subject to the normal timing rules and without any special exceptions.

Q: If you fail to deal with Void, are your ships eradicated?
A: Yes


This answer is incorrect. Void's power explicitly works only when he wins an encounter. Void cannot fail to deal and win the encounter at the same time.

Q: Is there an official ruling on Zombie vs. Void?
A: Void trumps Zombie. Zombie's power kicks in when it should go to the warp, however the intent for Void is that it never sends its opponent's to the warp at all.


This interpretation is not apparent from the text on the alien sheets. A simple reading of the powers suggests that Void and Zombie are both attempting, with equivalent timing, to change the destination of ships that should go to the warp. In addition, the original Eon wording ("any of your opponent's [or his allies'] tokens that are lost to the warp ... are permanently removed from the game") suggests that Void applied after the ships went to the warp. Furthermore, in Encounter magazine Jack Kittredge ruled that Zombie trumped Void in this scenario.

If the designers wish to have Void trump Zombie (rather than adhering to the timing rule), this should probably be presented as errata for Void.

Q: If Warrior draws his own color and reclaims an empty home planet, does he collect experience?
A: Yes, he collects experience as though he won an encounter, since repopulating his home planet counts as a successful encounter.


This is the correct answer, but stated in a way that probably leaves a wrong impression. Reclaiming your home planet not only counts as a successful encounter, it also counts as a win*. So Warrior is not just collecting experience "as though" he won, he is actually winning an encounter.

* The FFG rules do not explicitly state this; they simply define a home-planet reclamation outcome as "successful", leaving two possibilities: either it is a win or it is a third (separate) kind of successful encounter. The "win" interpretation has four points in its favor: (1) Win-or-deal is consistently treated as binary, implying that "successful encounter" has only two subdivisions, not three. (2) This situation is remarkably parallel to pointing the cone at an unoccupied moon, which the Eon rulebook says "counts as a challenge which you have 'won,' but there is no defensive player or loser." (3) It is simply too horrible to contemplate revising existing "win or deal" effects to say "wins the encounter, makes a deal, or draws his or her own color and reclaims an unoccupied home planet"!

Q: Can Will attack Blue on Red's planet even if Blue has no colony there?
A: No. Blue doesn't have a colony there to attack, while Red may always be forced to defend his home planet.


The text on the alien sheet ("encounter any alien on any planet of your choice") does not specify that a colony is required. This should be presented as errata for Will.

Q: Can Zombie use the Wild Kamikaze or similar cards that require sending ships to warp to use, and if so, are the ships actually sent to warp?
A: Yes, Zombie may use the card, and then may use his power to prevent those ships from entering the warp.


This ruling seems inconsistent with the earlier ruling about Zombie and compensation. If Zombie cannot receive compensation because he has not met the requirement of losing ships to the warp, then how can he use Wild Kamikaze when he has not met the requirement of losing ships to the warp? The loss of ships required by effects such as Wild Kamikaze is a cost or prerequisite, not a result — no action should be allowed to proceed when its cost has not been paid.

It is unclear why allowing Zombie to add 12 to all of his attack totals at no cost is important enough to warrant a contradiction in how the power is applied.
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Quote:
Q: Are the terms of a deal EXPLICITLY RESTRICTED to one or more of the following categories:
* granting a single colony on a planet you already occupy
* giving cards from your hand
*specialized use of your power where indicated (such as Zombie's regeneration)
A: No, but either colonies or cards must change hands. Anything else you choose to negotiate with is up to you. Any other terms you set are not enforced (i.e. if you agree not to ally against each other, either of you may break that portion of the deal.)

This answer appears to be incorrect, and directly contradicts the next entry in the FAQ:

Q: Can you trade tech cards in a deal?
A: No.

This second answer is the correct one (contradicting the previous FAQ entry) because the rules do not allow anything other than colonies and cards: "In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the player already has a colony. In this way each main player may gain a new colony and/or new cards." This is a very close restating of the 1982 Eon rule (sans Lucre reference). Further evidence that deals are highly constrained rather than open-ended can be found in the original Eon wording for Diplomat: "No player may gain more than is allowed in the rules under 'Making a Deal', that is one base and cards from other dealing players."

well they said it in a pretty ambiguous way but I think that in the first answer they meant that you can trade promises (to ally, to use your power for his benefit etc.).

Quote:
Q: Can Observer, as an ally, lose ships outside the encounter? (Such as Grudge or Wild Void.)
A: No, Observer may protect ships outside the encounter, only if he is an ally.

This answer appears nonresponsive to the question and seems to misquote it as well; the intended meaning is unclear. The correct response to the question would seem to be as follows:

"Yes, as long as Observer is an ally he may protect all of his ships lost for any reason, because the alien sheet uses the absolute term 'whenever'. Also, there is no language on the alien sheet requiring that ships to be protected must be involved in the encounter."

you probably didn't read the question well... the question is whether the observer can lose ships from outside the encounter, not whether he can protect them. so the correct answer is no, like the FAQ says, and not yes.
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:

Q: If you Cosmic Zap a player that is using his Super flare, does he discard the flare, or does he have to play the wild?
A: Neither. The flare remains in his hand, but he may use the wild flare while his power is zapped.



The way I figure it, if someone tries to play a Super flare and you Cosmic Zap away his power, his Super never actually gets played, so it doesn't count against either of the once-per-turn restrictions.
 
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I have a hard time imagining that a Cosmic Quake will ever happen. I haven't played a six player game yet, but in the 5 player games I've played, we've never come close to depleting the deck.

But while I'm sure it's possible.... how the hell could you not have enough cards available after a Quake? Isn't that the point of the quake? It puts all the cards back in the deck?

Edit: I know you have the answer for me though, Bill. Hit me with it!
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Warrior Alien Power
Warrior's first paragraph should read "You have the power of Mastery. After an encounter in which you were a main player, add one token to this sheet if you won that encounter (or made a deal during it) or two tokens if you lost that encounter (or failed to make a deal during it). In either case, add one extra token if playing with four planets per player." This allows Warrior to collect tokens even if his power was zapped during the encounter.


This erratum implies a change to Warrior's timing bar (originally Reveal). Unfortunately there really is no timing bar for "after the encounter". Warrior's power probably now activates in the space between the Resolution phase and the following Regroup or Start Turn phase, but there is no way to indicate "between phases" so probably the closest we can get is to change it to Resolution.

A timing change isn't needed. Warrior's power doesn't have to be used to gain tokens, so the timing bar doesn't show the phase where such happens. (Same goes with Citadel not having Destiny highlighted when he places citadels without using his power.)
Bill Martinson wrote:
Q: Are the terms of a deal EXPLICITLY RESTRICTED to one or more of the following categories:
* granting a single colony on a planet you already occupy
* giving cards from your hand
*specialized use of your power where indicated (such as Zombie's regeneration)

A: No, but either colonies or cards must change hands. Anything else you choose to negotiate with is up to you. Any other terms you set are not enforced (i.e. if you agree not to ally against each other, either of you may break that portion of the deal.)


This answer appears to be incorrect, and directly contradicts the next entry in the FAQ:

Q: Can you trade tech cards in a deal?
A: No.


This second answer is the correct one (contradicting the previous FAQ entry) because the rules do not allow anything other than colonies and cards: "In a deal, a player may trade cards and/or allow his or her opponent to establish one colony on any one planet where the player already has a colony. In this way each main player may gain a new colony and/or new cards." This is a very close restating of the 1982 Eon rule (sans Lucre reference). Further evidence that deals are highly constrained rather than open-ended can be found in the original Eon wording for Diplomat: "No player may gain more than is allowed in the rules under 'Making a Deal', that is one base and cards from other dealing players."

When they say "anything else is up to you", I don't believe they are considering Techs in the equation, only the concept of future promises and the like.
Bill Martinson wrote:
Q: If Pacifist must play an N when Loser calls upset, does he get compensation?
A: Yes.


This answer either is not always correct or is incorrect, depending on one's interpretation of the requirements for collecting compensation. As stated earlier, compensation is contingent upon (1) revealing a negotiate card; (2) your opponent revealing an attack card; and (3) losing ships to the warp as a result. Additionally, the rulebook twice suggests an additional condition for compensation: (4) losing the encounter.

Page 10, under heading If One Player Reveals an Attack Card and the Other Reveals a Negotiate Card: "The player who played the negotiate card loses the encounter automatically. However, the losing player will get to claim compensation..."

Page 11, under heading Compensation vs. Rewards: "Compensation is the term for cards a player gets to steal from his or her opponent after losing an encounter by playing a negotiate vs. the opponent’s attack card."

However, there is also one reference to compensation that does not mention losing the encounter, on the same page under heading Compensation: "When one player plays a negotiate and his opponent plays an attack card, the player who played the negotiate card gets to collect compensation."

These statements leave the specific requirements for collecting compensation somewhat ambiguous. Depending on the correct interpretation, the answer to this FAQ question should be either "Yes, assuming that Loser revealed an attack card" or "No, because Pacifist did not lose the encounter".

I fail to see the problem here. If Loser calls upset, and Pacifist has to play an N, then Pacifist will win (and therefore lose). Then he loses ships, and since he played an N and lost, he should get compensation. (If Loser also played N, they make a deal as usual.)
 
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CBpegasus wrote:
well they said it in a pretty ambiguous way but I think that in the first answer they meant that you can trade promises (to ally, to use your power for his benefit etc.).

I suspect the same. Still flabbergasted they said "anything else is up to you", though.

CBpegasus wrote:
Quote:
Q: Can Observer, as an ally, lose ships outside the encounter? (Such as Grudge or Wild Void.)
A: No, Observer may protect ships outside the encounter, only if he is an ally.

This answer appears nonresponsive to the question and seems to misquote it as well; the intended meaning is unclear. The correct response to the question would seem to be as follows:

"Yes, as long as Observer is an ally he may protect all of his ships lost for any reason, because the alien sheet uses the absolute term 'whenever'. Also, there is no language on the alien sheet requiring that ships to be protected must be involved in the encounter."

you probably didn't read the question well... the question is whether the observer can lose ships from outside the encounter, not whether he can protect them. so the correct answer is no, like the FAQ says, and not yes.

Crap, you're right. I read both the question and the answer at least four times because they were so awkward, and I still got my yesses and nos backwards! I was thrown by the answer using "may" when it should have used "must", and the word "only" seeming to want to work against the fact that the same logic applies to Observer's allies.

However, in thinking it through more deeply today, I realize the answer given is still misleading, because it implies that Observer, as an ally, cannot use Wild Void. Quite the opposite is true:

Observer's power is written exactly like Zombie's (they both say "whenever you should lose ships to the warp, use this power to instead return them to any of your colonies and keep using them."). The powers are identical except for their scope; Observer is (precisely) a Zombie that works for himself only when he is an ally, and for his allies when he is a main player. Consulting the FAQ section for Zombie, we see that Zombie may use effects such as Wild Kamikaze and Wild Void "for free".

So I would now say that the FAQ answer should have been something like this:

No, Observer must protect all of his ships, whether inside or outside the encounter, when he is an ally (and similarly must protect all of his allies' ships when he is a main player). Thus, as an ally, when Observer receives a Grudge token he does not lose 1 or 4 ships to the warp but may instead relocate that number to different colonies if he wishes*, and he may use Wild Void without paying the cost of losing a ship (see entry for Zombie).

* Like Zombie, Observer still has to "start to lose" the ships, then place them back on any of his colonies. Thus, in rare cases, he might still lose one or more colonies if he doesn't have 1 or 4 ships that he can pick up all at the same time without abandoning a planet.

I will revise the review.

Thanks for catching this; that was one of the entries that had me the most confused, which is why I more or less just gave up on it and tried to write my own answer.
 
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Chipacabra wrote:
The way I figure it, if someone tries to play a Super flare and you Cosmic Zap away his power, his Super never actually gets played, so it doesn't count against either of the once-per-turn restrictions.

That's what I would have preferred as well. In fact, now that I understand the true fiddliness of FFG flares, I wish they had thrown all that out the window and just said "play flares whenever they are applicable." It feels like a ghost of the old Mayfair paranoia is still haunting the house and making it hard to understand how flares work. (At least for hyperliteral idiots like me.)

Holmes108 wrote:
But while I'm sure [a quake is] possible.... how the hell could you not have enough cards available after a Quake? Isn't that the point of the quake? It puts all the cards back in the deck?

Edit: I know you have the answer for me though, Bill. Hit me with it!

Bam!

A couple of other threads have beaten on this one (here and here), but in a nutshell:

A Cosmic Quake affects only cards actually in hand, so if there are a fair number of cards tied up in other places then you could (in rare situations) run out. Those "other places" include things like these:

* Miser's hoard
* Citadel's citadels
* Industrialist's stacks
* Cryo's cold storage
* Merchant's hired ships
* encounter cards and Kickers on the table during Planning/Reveal
* flares and artifacts on the table waiting to resolve
* cards "set aside" for effects such as Wild Miser, Chronos, Wild Cryo
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
A timing change isn't needed. Warrior's power doesn't have to be used to gain tokens, so the timing bar doesn't show the phase where such happens. (Same goes with Citadel not having Destiny highlighted when he places citadels without using his power.)

Good catch (and a pretty stupid oversight on my part); I've fixed the review.

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
When they say "anything else is up to you", I don't believe they are considering Techs in the equation, only the concept of future promises and the like.

Given the crazy, open-ended nature of Cosmic Encounter, there are lots of things they weren't considering. If somebody tells me that anything else is up to me in a negotiation, I'm going to want to get creative and think about trading techs, swapping planets, releasing captured ships, allowing visiting ships in my system to be redistributed among my planets, examining each other's hands, peeking at each other's incomplete techs, citadels, cryo cards, taking on the burden of your allies' Grudge tokens, giving you a token off my sheet if I'm Warrior and you're Fury .... There are all manner of "anything else" trades that don't constitute a future promise, and the FAQ seems to declare that all of these are allowed. (Well, except trading techs.)

I really don't think they meant "anything else". If they meant "future promises", they should have said that, and if they meant "future promises, and the like" then they would need to tell us what "and the like" covers.

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
I fail to see the problem here. If Loser calls upset, and Pacifist has to play an N, then Pacifist will win (and therefore lose). Then he loses ships, and since he played an N and lost, he should get compensation. (If Loser also played N, they make a deal as usual.)

You may be right. I was trying to wrap my head around the FAQ entry for Human vs. Pacifist, which implies that in auto-win scenarios, whoever auto-wins first is the winner. I guess I was taking that to mean that in Loser vs. Pacifist, Pacifist is invoking an auto-win override and thus prevents Loser from changing the win — but now that you bring it up, I have a vague memory that there was a ruling somewhere that the upset actually undoes the Pacifist win.

So, are we saying that Pacifist's auto-win can short-circuit Human but not Loser? Or does Pacifist/Loser follow the timing rules, making my review right half the time and wrong half the time?

Anybody else want to comment on this before I try to revise my review?
 
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Bill Martinson wrote:
So, are we saying that Pacifist's auto-win can short-circuit Human but not Loser? Or does Pacifist/Loser follow the timing rules, making my review right half the time and wrong half the time?
Loser's sheet specifies that the win-inversion happens absolutely last (even giving Human, an auto-win, as an example).

Personally, I think Human should trump Pacifist (with a reasoning of Pacifist saying "win" while Human says "automatically win" as well as just the "feel" of Human). But even if you use the timing rules - does Pacifist winning set the win in stone, or does Human being zapped override the previous win?
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At Dundracon, with six players, we were within 4-5 cards of triggering a Cosmic Quake. I don't recall the specific aliens...

In the very unlikely event a Cosmic Quake doesn't get enough cards back in play, I say do a COSMIC AFTERSHOCK. All cards in the game are discarded and reshuffled.... devil
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Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Loser's sheet specifies that the win-inversion happens absolutely last (even giving Human, an auto-win, as an example).

Quite right. I've deleted the entry.

Toomai Glittershine wrote:
Personally, I think Human should trump Pacifist (with a reasoning of Pacifist saying "win" while Human says "automatically win" as well as just the "feel" of Human). But even if you use the timing rules - does Pacifist winning set the win in stone, or does Human being zapped override the previous win?

I just flat-out don't like Human. The Adams jokes don't make up for how it gunks up the gameplay engine.

Changing gears, an issue with Zombie has been nagging my subconscious and finally broke the surface today. Thinking about the things that Zombie can and cannot do that require losing ships to the warp, I think it's wrong that Zombie is screwed by this requirement when it comes to compensation, but pays no attention to it for everything else.

Losing ships to the warp is a prerequisite for compensation.
Losing ships to the warp is a prerequisite for Wild Kamikaze.

The first one hinders Zombie but the second one doesn't? This seems all the more strange because compensation is partly a function of the opponent's choices, and a natural result of an encounter that players usually cannot control, whereas things like Wild Kamikaze are deliberately invoked by the player as a benefit to himself. Losing ships is clearly a cost that must be paid in order to use the flare. Zombie cannot pay this cost, period.

One of those rulings should be reversed to align with the other. Personally I think I can live with it either way (but not both ways at once).

Shifting from the correctness of the current ruling to its effect, I should also note that it gives Zombie a free +12 to all of his encounter totals.

I've added this entry to the review.
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Bill Martinson wrote:


* Miser's hoard
* Citadel's citadels
* Industrialist's stacks
* Cryo's cold storage
* Merchant's hired ships
* encounter cards and Kickers on the table during Planning/Reveal
* flares and artifacts on the table waiting to resolve
* cards "set aside" for effects such as Wild Miser, Chronos, Wild Cryo


Damnit! I knew it would be something (somewhat) obvious. Thanks.


Btw, a little off topic, sorry, but not worth another thread:

Re: Cryo's storage. Anyone else think that there's at least equal, if not more value to using his power to just ditch bad cards all game, as opposed to hoarding good ones?

I haven't had a chance to use him. But I think that's the way I'd most likely use him. It's at least the easier, and less strategic way.

Anyone disagree, and think he's most valuable for creating a good hand?

I suppose it would depend on the hand you're dealt too...if you're dealt nothing but negotiates... my strategy might be the way to go.
 
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Greg Filpus
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I don't have a lot of Cosmic experience, but I do have some rules-lawyering experience.

Bill Martinson wrote:
Changing gears, an issue with Zombie has been nagging my subconscious and finally broke the surface today. Thinking about the things that Zombie can and cannot do that require losing ships to the warp, I think it's wrong that Zombie is screwed by this requirement when it comes to compensation, but pays no attention to it for everything else.

Losing ships to the warp is a prerequisite for compensation.
Losing ships to the warp is a prerequisite for Wild Kamikaze.

The first one hinders Zombie but the second one doesn't? This seems all the more strange because compensation is partly a function of the opponent's choices, and a natural result of an encounter that players usually cannot control, whereas things like Wild Kamikaze are deliberately invoked by the player as a benefit to himself. Losing ships is clearly a cost that must be paid in order to use the flare. Zombie cannot pay this cost, period.


The phrasing around compensation and Wild Kamikaze aren't the same. The rules of the game do not have a notion of "cost", they have a notion of cause and effect. I'm tempted to look at this like I do Dominion, where conditions only exist where explicitly stated and "Do X, then do Y." means you do Y even if X is impossible.

Compensation is simple:

Rules pg. 11, Compensation wrote:
Compensation
When one player plays a negotiate and his opponent plays an attack card, the player who played the negotiate card gets to collect compensation. That player must randomly take one card for each ship he or she lost to the warp (not counting any allies’ ships – they go to the warp without compensation) from his or her opponent’s hand. If the player’s opponent doesn’t have enough cards to provide full compensation, the player takes the opponent’s entire hand of cards.


The Zombie lost zero ships to the warp, so he collects zero cards in compensation. (The last game I played, we used this point to say that ships lost by Cudgel increases the compensation, because Cudgel increases the number of ships lost.)

If we try to apply the same thing to Kamikaze wild:

Kamikaze wild wrote:
As a main player, after encounter cards are selected but before they are revealed, you may send up to four of your ships that are not in the encounter to the warp to add 3 to your side's total for each ship sacrificed.


The point of contention is the word "sacrificed", which has no clear meaning. It could mean the ships Zombie tried to send to the warp, in which case Zombie gets the bonus, or the ships that actually went to the warp, in which case he doesn't.
 
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Doing all of the research on these Zombie issues, I've begun to appreciate the elegance of Jack's version of the alien, which in FFG parlance looks like this:

You have the power of Immortality. At the start of every encounter, use this power to release all of your ships in the warp to your colonies. Additionally, you may free another player's ships from the warp as part of a deal.

This version

* cleanly makes all of the timing questions go away;

* strengthens the power by giving him back his compensation;

* captures the "movie zombie" feeling well (you can kill the damned things over and over, but they always just get back up a minute or two later); and

* would be a lot of fun in the context of the old Eon reverse hexes, since Zombie can now cause the warp to dump into the praw, then recover all of his ships over the next two encounters.

Pretty cool.

EDIT: Okay, what happened to my other post? I didn't delete it and I didn't edit it; it's just ... gone.
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Quote:
Q: Can you Cosmic Zap a flare when the player is using it to use his own power (say as an ally when otherwise he can't use his power as an ally)?
A: Yes.


While it is essentially true that a Cosmic Zap is (usually) playable in this scenario, the single-word answer is misleading because it is not possible to "Cosmic Zap a flare". You can Cosmic Zap a power that is being enhanced by a flare, but players need to understand that this is very different from Card Zapping the flare itself. (For one thing, the latter causes the flare to be discarded but the former does not. The next FAQ entry we will discuss below validates this point.)

It is also worth noting that not all Super flares require the use of the underlying power. Many do enhance the alien power, but a few simply provide an independent benefit. For example, Cosmic Zap is not applicable during the use of Super Anti-Matter, Super Kamikaze, or Super Machine because the player is not using any part of those aliens' power texts. (Card Zap still applies, of course.)


I think you're technically correct, but I would prefer to see errata to the "use this power" language that says, globally, use your power whenever you play your super flare. It's ugly when a Cosmic Zap can prevent some supers but not others.

The rules already provide that you cannot use your super flare if you have lost your power, so it's not a big stretch to assume that you have to use your power to use the super.

At a minimum, though, this FAQ entry should be editted to clarify that you are not actually zapping the flare, as you said.


Quote:
Q: If you Cosmic Zap a player that is using his Super flare, does he discard the flare, or does he have to play the wild?
A: Neither. The flare remains in his hand, but he may use the wild flare while his power is zapped.


Q: If Anti-Matter's flare is used to prevent another flare being played, is the prevented flare kept in hand? Also, does it count against that player's limit of one flare per encounter?
A: The prevented flare is kept in hand. Since the player was prevented from playing the flare (rather than having it be cancelled), the prevented flare does not count against the player’s limit of one flare per encounter. However, remember that the prevented flare may not be played again that encounter.




Yuck... that's a bit of a mess. I think the final sentence of the 2nd one is the main error.

Quote:
If this FAQ entry intends to create a special exception that allows a nullified Super to be played a second time as a Wild during the same encounter, then this needs to be made clear, and the following entry should be carefully considered before any new statements are made that further complicate the use of flares.


I think that's the intent, but I don't see it as a special exception. I think it's just the rule. If that last sentence wasn't there, there wouldn't be a problem.

I think the rules should be this:
--You must use your power to play a super flare.
--If you cannot use your power, you may still play your own wild flare.
--You can be cosmic zapped if you attempt to play a super flare, because you are using your power.
--If you are cosmic zapped in that situation, you do NOT play a flare and do NOT use up your "one flare per turn". You may now play a different flare, or the SAME ONE (as a wild).
--If you are hit with Flare Zap, you may NOT play another flare this turn.

Quote:
Q: If the Citadel's power is lost or discarded, are the citadels discarded or not?
A: No, they remain in play, but serve no function.


This answer appears correct based on the alien sheet's text, but the power probably should have been written to avoid this inelegance.


Nah, it's okay as is. Otherwise a simple Zap is permanently devastating to Citadel.


Quote:
Q: Can Filch take Gambler's unrevealed card, and if so, can he notify the table whether the truth was told?
A: Filch may take it, but he may not show it to the other players. He may make whatever claims about the Gambler's truthfulness he likes, of course.


This answer is incorrect. Filch cannot take Gambler's unrevealed card, because Filch thieves cards specifically "from the discard pile" and Gambler does not discard his unrevealed card (the power says "place your encounter card facedown on the bottom of the deck instead of discarding it.").

Q: If you fail to deal with Void, are your ships eradicated?
A: Yes


This answer is incorrect. Void's power explicitly works only when he wins an encounter. Void cannot fail to deal and win the encounter at the same time.


Unfortunately, you're right. It's clear the writer was using Eon versions of these powers, and not paying attention to how FFG changed Gambler and nerfed Void. I much prefer the de-nerfed Void (eradicate when your opponent loses ships as a result of the challenge, period). The change to Gambler has very limited use (only when the discard pile is empty), and wasn't really necessary.


Quote:
Q: Can Human be zapped to win if both cards are Ns?
A: Yes. And yes, his opponent will receive compensation if the opponent loses ships to the warp.


The second part of this answer is incorrect. Compensation is awarded only when three things happen in conjunction: (1) you reveal a negotiate card; (2) your opponent reveals an attack card; and (3) you lose ships to the warp as a result. (Losing the encounter is a fourth likely condition, but there is some ambiguity about this in the rules.)


Is it a mistake, or is it errata? It's not a bad ruling as far as game play is concerned. It seems like sort of an off the cuff response, as though the writer said "hey, wouldn't it be interesting if... ", without really thinking about the techical details.

Quote:
Q: Can Zombie use the Wild Kamikaze or similar cards that require sending ships to warp to use, and if so, are the ships actually sent to warp?
A: Yes, Zombie may use the card, and then may use his power to prevent those ships from entering the warp.


This ruling seems inconsistent with the earlier ruling about Zombie and compensation. If Zombie cannot receive compensation because he has not met the requirement of losing ships to the warp, then how can he use Wild Kamikaze when he has not met the requirement of losing ships to the warp? The loss of ships required by effects such as Wild Kamikaze is a cost or prerequisite, not a result — no action should be allowed to proceed when its cost has not been paid.

It is unclear why allowing Zombie to add 12 to all of his attack totals at no cost is important enough to warrant a contradiction in how the power is applied.


It's because Zombie blows, and the game creators know it. This is the first ruling EVER in the 30 year history of this game that has gone in Zombie's favor. Up til now, I would always just assume that any rule issue that pertains to Zombie would be answered in the way that screws zombie the most. This answer is a step in the right direction. Now all we need is to fix these: No consolation, no immunity to void, no using your power while you still have ships on 3 planets, and probably others I can't think of right now.

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Rubric wrote:
Nah, it's okay as is. Otherwise a simple Zap is permanently devastating to Citadel.

Ah ... I didn't mean whenever Citadel gets zapped or has too few home colonies. I was interpreting the question to be asking what happens when the Citadel alien sheet leaves the game. But I see now that the question was worded more broadly than that. My real point is that I wish the alien sheet had had a clean-exit sentence: "If this power is removed from the game, all the citadels are discarded."

Rubric wrote:
Is it a mistake, or is it errata? It's not a bad ruling as far as game play is concerned. It seems like sort of an off the cuff response, as though the writer said "hey, wouldn't it be interesting if... ", without really thinking about the techical details.

Human ... the gift that keeps on giving.

Rubric wrote:
It's because Zombie blows, and the game creators know it. This is the first ruling EVER in the 30 year history of this game that has gone in Zombie's favor. Up til now, I would always just assume that any rule issue that pertains to Zombie would be answered in the way that screws zombie the most. This answer is a step in the right direction. Now all we need is to fix these: No consolation, no immunity to void, no using your power while you still have ships on 3 planets, and probably others I can't think of right now.

I feel your pain, but I don't know how to fix it. I want the application of the power to be consistent, but I suspect this will be more likely to reverse the Wild Kamikaze ruling than the compensation ruling. (Allowing an action to proceed when the costs were not paid is a very dangerous precedent, and there are just too many cards that work this way to [essentially] errata all of them for Zombie's sake.)

I think, in hindsight, it would have been best if the Zombie alien sheet had specifically said "but you still collect compensation in spite of your ships not going to the warp" and all the other crap that requires ship sacrifice just didn't work for Zombie. No exceptions, no counterintuitiveness, and you'd get the most bang for the buck by getting compensation back.
 
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(I already responded to this once, but somehow the Void eradicated my post.)

GregF wrote:
The rules of the game do not have a notion of "cost"

Some of the components sure do.

GregF wrote:
conditions only exist where explicitly stated and "Do X, then do Y." means you do Y even if X is impossible.

That changes the structure and meaning of all the cards in question. They don't say "then", they say "to", meaning "in order to" or "so that you can":

Wild Filch: "discard a negotiate card ... to steal any one artifact or flare"

Wild Kamikaze: "send ... your ships ... to the warp to add 3 to your side’s total ..."

Wild Philanthropist: "send one of your ships to the warp to lend your power"

Reserve: "discard a negotiate card to cancel ... that reinforcement"

Wild Shadow: "send one of your ships ... to the warp to take all opposing ships to the warp"

Super Tick-Tock: "send one of your ships to the warp to discard a token"

Wild Void: "send one of your ships ... to the warp to cancel ... one artifact"

Fury: "discard ... tokens ... to add or subtract 3 from your side’s total"

Wild Locust: "send 4 of your ships to the warp to destroy a planet"

Super Symbiote: "Discard this flare ... to rescue all of your ships"

Too many cards to mention: "discard this flare/tech/etc. to use it"

These are all clearly costs. If you don't like that word, then "requirements" or "prerequisites" or "conditions" would also work.

GregF wrote:
The point of contention is the word "sacrificed", which has no clear meaning.

Not really. The point of contention is whether the stuff in front of the word "to" is a requirement to be able to do the stuff after it. You contend it isn't, I contend it is.

But if you want to base your case on the word "sacrificed", you should be aware that this is flavor text, used only on this card and nowhere else in the game, to tie the flare thematically back to the Kamikaze's "power of Sacrifice" and to avoid having to repeat "the ships that were sent to the warp". What flavor text are you going to point to on all the other examples above (the "and similar cards" referred to in the FAQ entry) to get the player out of paying their costs?
 
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Robert Guthrie
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Thanks for clarifying these FAQs. I wish FF would just crowd-source their FAQ on a wiki or something, and then distill that down for their official documents.

As for the zombie, I'd never looked at Jack Reda's version, but I like it. I would apply one tweak, since going to the warp and then popping out every turn would make him much more powerful. I'd make it only happen when he becomes a main player: "After the defensive player has been determined (destiny phase), if you are one of the main players, use this power to release ..."

Alternately: "During every player's Regroup phase, use this power to release 4 ships from the Warp to any of your colonies. Additionally..."

Man! Now I wish there was a "Strange Eons" program like they have for Arkham Horror. I'm too cheap/lazy to buy and learn Photoshop, but I still want the pretty graphics & timing bar.

Bill Martinson wrote:
Doing all of the research on these Zombie issues, I've begun to appreciate the elegance of Jack's version ...
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rdguthrie wrote:
I wish FF would just crowd-source their FAQ on a wiki or something, and then distill that down for their official documents.

They kinda sorta tried that a little on their own forums (at least collecting FAQ questions), but it was a one-way conversation that appears all but forgotten, and their forum software is pretty awful to use.
 
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Rubric wrote:
I think you're technically correct, but I would prefer to see errata to the "use this power" language that says, globally, use your power whenever you play your super flare. It's ugly when a Cosmic Zap can prevent some supers but not others.

Fair enough, but it's also a different kind of ugly when playing Super Anti-Matter to prevent a flare is somehow "using" the power to make the lower total win. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder, and I'm sure we aren't all going to have the same preference. (Personally I'm conflicted on this issue.)

Having just gone through this excruciating FAQ review, right now I am pretty gun-shy about adding anything to the already bulging rules burden on flares. Assuming we can believe the one about prevented Supers turning into playable Wilds, and adding a placeholder to either sustain or overrule your suggestion (which I guess must be done one way or the other), here's what that flare burden looks like separated into its individual rules:

1. A flare cannot be used more than once per encounter.

2. A player may use no more than one flare per encounter.

3. Canceled flares (via Card Zap) are discarded.

4. Prevented flares (via Wild or Super Anti-Matter) return to hand.

5. If, during use of a Super flare, the power is Cosmic Zapped, the flare is prevented, not canceled.

6. Canceled flares count against the flare's 1 use/encounter limit.

7. Prevented flares count against the flare's 1 use/encounter limit.

8. Canceled flares count against the player's 1 flare/encounter limit.

9. Prevented flares do not count against the player's 1 flare/encounter limit.

10. If, during use of a Super flare, the power is Cosmic Zapped, this counts against the flare's 1 use/encounter limit unless the same player uses the Wild portion of the flare on the same encounter (potential exception to rule 7).

11a. Using a Super flare always counts as using the underlying power, and thus Cosmic Zap may be used to (indirectly) prevent any Super flare.

— or —

11b. Using a Super flare counts as using the underlying power only if some part of the power is actually needed for the flare to operate. If the Super flare's effect is independent of the power, then Cosmic Zap cannot be used to prevent the Super flare.

Examples of 11b would include the Supers for Anti-Matter, Clone, Kamikaze, Machine, Masochist, Observer, Pacifist, Remora, Disease, Ethic*, Genius, Mercenary*, Plant, Sniveler, and Symbiote.

* Super Ethic and Super Mercenary are usable either with or without the underlying power, since those two aliens extend the circumstances under which compensation and rewards may be collected.

This determination is easy on most flares, because the majority either obviously need the power, or use a phrase like "When using your power, you may ...". For the remaining aliens, a good way to make the determination is to ask, "if this Super was a Wild, could anyone correctly use it as written?"

But, I suppose the fact that I even felt the need to suggest a methodology implies that they will likely rule this one the way you want, Ken. Perhaps that would be for the best; it is simpler to apply.
 
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Chipacabra wrote:
Bill Martinson wrote:

Q: If you Cosmic Zap a player that is using his Super flare, does he discard the flare, or does he have to play the wild?
A: Neither. The flare remains in his hand, but he may use the wild flare while his power is zapped.



The way I figure it, if someone tries to play a Super flare and you Cosmic Zap away his power, his Super never actually gets played, so it doesn't count against either of the once-per-turn restrictions.


Another possible interpretation here is that the Cosmic Zap only zaps the Power not the flare and this doesn't un-play the flare, it just means that the flare's wild effect takes place instead. Of course what to do if the wild effect doesn't apply in that situation is an issue.
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mar hawkman
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Ignore it?
 
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Just a Bill
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A small update for something I had missed until today (also merged into main review):

Q: If Warrior draws his own color and reclaims an empty home planet, does he collect experience?
A: Yes, he collects experience as though he won an encounter, since repopulating his home planet counts as a successful encounter.


This is the correct answer, but stated in a way that probably leaves a wrong impression. Reclaiming your home planet not only counts as a successful encounter, it also counts as a win*. So Warrior is not just collecting experience "as though" he won, he is actually winning an encounter.

* The FFG rules do not explicitly state this; they simply define a home-planet reclamation outcome as "successful", leaving two possibilities: either it is a win or it is a third (separate) kind of successful encounter. The "win" interpretation has three points in its favor: (1) Win-or-deal is consistently treated as binary, implying that "successful encounter" has only two subdivisions, not three. (2) This situation is remarkably parallel to pointing the cone at an unoccupied moon, which the Eon rulebook says "counts as a challenge which you have 'won,' but there is no defensive player or loser." (3) It is simply too horrible to contemplate revising existing "win or deal" effects to say "wins the encounter, makes a deal, or draws his or her own color and reclaims an unoccupied home planet"!
 
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I like #2
 
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Update for an entry that I now believe I misinterpreted (I have incorporated this into the original post):

Q: What cards can be played when you have a lien on your hand (that is, someone is trying to collect compensation from you)?
A: Any cards that may legally be played before compensation is taken may be played. So, you could play a reinforcement card to get it out of your hand before compensation is taken, for instance.


This answer's first sentence is correct, but the second sentence was initially deemed incorrect on the grounds that reinforcements must be played before the outcome is determined and compensation must be collected after. This was based on a perception that the question was trying to explain which cards are playable when someone is trying to collect compensation.

Upon further reflection, it appears that the entry may have been trying to answer a different question: what cards are playable between the time when compensation becomes "scheduled to occur" (i.e., at the moment encounter cards are revealed) and the time when the act of collecting it begins? In other words, does compensation create a so-called lien on your hand, restricting you from playing any cards that would otherwise be legally playable?

If this was the intended question, and if the intended answer was that there are no special restrictions or "liens", then reinforcements would be a valid example of cards that could be played after compensation became an issue but before it begins to be collected upon.

In that case, rather than label the FAQ entry's example as "not valid" I should have categorized the entire entry as misleading, in part because of its unfortunate use of the term "lien". A lien is a restriction or "hold" on some type of property intended to guarantee payment of a debt. The FAQ entry seems to essentially define compensation as a lien (in the question), and then imply, somewhat indirectly, that there is no lien (in the answer).

If players are not restricted from playing cards before compensation is collected, then compensation is not a lien — only a debt that could end up getting paid fully, partly, or not at all. Thus, the answer to this FAQ entry might be better recast as follows:

A: Compensation does not create any kind of "lien" or "hold" or "freeze" on your hand. You are free to use any cards that may be legally played before compensation begins to be collected. So, you could play a reinforcement card to get it out of your hand before compensation is taken, for instance. However, once the opportunity to play such cards has passed and compensation begins, then it is too late. For example, you cannot wait to see if Hacker is going to target you before deciding whether to "dump" your reinforcement cards, because the time to affect encounter totals has already passed.
 
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