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Subject: Idea for an alternate win power: Hunter rss

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Chris O
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As I was trying to fall asleep a few nights ago, this power randomly came into my head, and I thought it was such a good concept that I had to post it. It has some similarity with Will, but also many many differences to let it stand on its own. Note that it can be called Hunter with the power of Predation or the Predator with the power to Hunt. Either works.



[_] HUNTER Singles Out Opponents [_]


GAME SETUP: Place 6 tokens on this sheet.

You have the power of Predation. As a main player, after ships are launched but before alliances are made, you may use this power to isolate your opponent. Isolated encounters cannot have any alliances and other players cannot interfere with this encounter in any way. If you win an isolated encounter, remove a token from this sheet.

If you remove the final token on this sheet, you immediately win the game. You may still win via the normal method.


Hunters are seen by many as one of the greatest militaristic species in the known universe; but have a weakness for personal challenges and brutal sports. The ultimate of such games in their eye-clusters is the stalking of an enemy military unit and taking it out by a stealthy, unaided assault. The Hunters believe that by tactically routing a number of renown platoons from around the universe they can put the question of cosmic mastery to rest.

Main Player Only Optional
Start Turn Regroup Destiny Launch Alliance Planning Reveal Resolution

Wild: When involved in an encounter, you may show this flare to prevent your opponent and his allies from playing Reinforcements.
As Any Player Planning

Super: When using your power you may also prevent both your opponent and yourself from playing encounter cards; skipping the Planning and Reveal phases entirely.
Main Player Only Alliance


A simple and fast explanation is you have the ability to create a 1 vs 1 scenario with no interference. If you win this encounter, you gain a victory point so to speak. You can do so on both offense and defense which is what allows for a possibly fast win if you have good cards.


*Another possible non-alternate win version of this alien may just be that you have the power to isolate your opponents whenever you want, but lose the benefit of gaining victory points on defense. This would make it harder to win with this power though.*
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Sean Franco
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3 tokens plus 1 for every other player seems like a lot. For the minimum three player game, that means 6 tokens. If I'm going to win six offensive encounters, why is this an alt-win. Even assuming that I might lose some of those colonies later, I think that six encounter is a lot, especially considering that those 6 tokens could turn into 10 in a seven player game.

In short, I think you need a different number of setup tokens. That aside, I like the concept of the power.
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Roberta Yang
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Check out the Siren from Cosmic Conflict; I think you'll find that this power and that one are extremely similar, and in my opinion the Siren is much better implemented.

As noted above, this is incredibly hard to fulfill even with the minimum number of players, and it's not even clear why it should scale. The Masochist needs to lose 20 ships, the Genius needs to draw 20 cards, and the Tick-Tock needs to discard 10 tokens regardless of the number of players; why should this power, which only has any opportunity to move toward its objective as a Main Player and which doesn't benefit particularly from allying or from allies, be forced to do more when there are more opponents and it gets fewer turns? If anything, the power should have been made easier to use with more players, since you're less likely to hit the right player color, not harder. This seems like really poor planning, and shows that not a lot of thought has been put into this power; you just tacked on the win condition seemingly at random.

Also, what does "your opponent must skip the Alliance Phase entirely" mean? Why not just say "Your opponent cannot invite allies" or "Skip the Alliance Phase", instead of going for the extremely confusing "The Alliance Phase occurs for everyone else but your opponent somehow skips it"?
 
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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Along the same lines, I would encourage you to simplify the text and use more standard wording; I had a difficult time understanding parts of this.

On the plus side, I will say this: I generally don't like alternate-win aliens for a variety of reasons, but there is one thing I do like about yours, Chris: You design them so their alternate win and normal win do not work against each other. Sadist's alternate goal of getting everyone else's ships into the warp is compatible with his normal goal of getting five colonies. Hunter's alternate goal of getting rid of his tokens is compatible with his normal goal of winning encounters.

This, to me, is a big improvement over powers like Genius and Masochist that force you to pick one route or the other. A single Hand Zap or Mobius Tubes undoes everything you've worked for, makes you feel like choosing the alternate path was a mistake, and essentially makes you play the rest of the game with no power and far behind everyone else.

So if I do play an alt-win alien on purpose, it's likely to be one of yours.
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Sean Franco
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Bill Martinson wrote:
I generally don't like alternate-win aliens for a variety of reasons

Not to derail the conversation, but how do you feel about Tick-Tock?
 
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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logopolys wrote:
Not to derail the conversation, but how do you feel about Tick-Tock?

Well, it doesn't have the Masochist/Genius self-defeating problem, but ...

I played it once last year and won the game by running out the clock; it was the most boring, anticlimactic FtF game ending I can remember in a long time. We all just sort of stared at each other with a look of "huh ... I guess the game's over then ... and Bill wins". I remember mainly feeling like "this sucks; I don't ever want to win like this again". It was completely unsatisfying. So for me, Tick-Tock is a waste of a card slot.
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Big Head Zach
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Not to keep the thread off the tracks, but have there been attempts to "rectify" aliens like Masochist and Genius in a way that lack the "one card hoses them entirely" issue?

Perhaps Masochist's goal is to lose 20 ships period (or some other X related to the number of players), regardless of whether he gets them back at a later date. If he/she is trying to feel pain, it shouldn't matter if the ships come back or not as long as he/she's getting that lovely sensation.

Using the tokens to keep track of those losses (and here's a good reason to start denominating them) wouldn't be hard. Start with 20 (or whatever), and he uses his power to remove the appropriate number of tokens every time he loses ships (and you could Zap him then instead of on the verge of his winning condition, which is pointless to be honest). When he removes his last token, he wins at the end of that phase.

Additionally...

At the risk of it looking too much like Cryo/Miser, modify Genius to have him use his power to "assimilate" cards (like how the Borg assimilate data). Whenever Genius would be eligible/required to draw cards, he may use his power to either 1) store all drawn cards directly into his "knowledge base" (the alien sheet) facedown after(or without) looking at them, or 2) draw some or all of the cards he's due from his knowledge base instead, randomly (he decides what portion of the draw will be done this way before any cards are drawn). Genius still wins if his knowledge base reaches 20(25?) cards, and that way Hand Zap doesn't have to hurt him unless there's some good cards in the knowledge base that he wants to pull out, and even then, he doesn't have to drain it completely (but the random draw ensures this isn't just Cryo/Miser).
 
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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bhz1 wrote:
have there been attempts to "rectify" aliens like Masochist and Genius in a way that lack the "one card hoses them entirely" issue?

I don't think anyone has; it doesn't seem to be worth the effort. You'd be taking mediocre powers with big achilles' heels and converting them into mediocre powers with additional overhead. (And probably making them seem less distinct, too: note how the token suggestion for Masochist makes it lean in the direction of a Tick-Tock or Fury knock-off.)

The fundamental problems with any power that inherently works against the whole game paradigm will never go away. Fix one gap and another one will pop up later, as new game effects are published. FFG has to be very careful with every new component of every new set they publish not to push any of the alt-win aliens to either extreme (neutered or abusive).

Example: If moons are published and work like they did in Eon and Mayfair, then Genius probably goes broken. As long as there are unoccupied moons available, he can add 8 cards to his hand on his turn, completely risk-free — and he still leaves the moons he exploits unoccupied so he can use them again.

And that's probably the biggest reason why I so dislike these dumb things: they leave a huge pile of droppings on the design constraint list. This is a "hidden cost" of having them in the game. I'm sure most players never even think about all the cool new game effects they could have gotten, but will never get, because Masochist or Genius is squatting in the middle of the road and making it impossible for those new ideas to pass.

If, for example, the mere existence of Genius causes moons to be neutered, made more fiddly with patch rules, or not published at all, then the cost of that alien is just too high. Better to errata the dumb thing out of the way than let it block all kinds of new possibilities.
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Gerald Katz
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Genius is easily fixed by clarifying it's only for planet colonies. Should Fantasy Flight produce Moons they might be smart and refer to having ships on a moon as "bases"; thus, anything that refers to "colonies" will have no effect on moons, and Genius vs Moon is fixed by default. It would also fix other ambiguities like Locust and The Claw.

If you want to add Moons to your set now, you could do that by fiat.


 
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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hadsil wrote:
they might be smart and refer to having ships on a moon as "bases"; thus, anything that refers to "colonies" will have no effect on moons, and Genius vs Moon is fixed by default.

That would create a whole slew of new problems and counterintuitivities.
 
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*** Nostrildamus *** All-Smelling Nose
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Getting back to the Hunter, the isolation/no allies thing is also very much like the Silencer.

It seems like it should work fairly well, but I don't see why the number of tokens should scale with the number of players. After all, it's still just winning encounters, and the number of foreign colonies you need to win doesn't scale with the number of players.

Because it works on both offense and defense, the number probably needs to be higher than 5, since you could theoretically discard them twice as fast as other aliens can gain foreign colonies. And yes, that does make it a bit like Siren.

Here's an idea (which still makes it like Siren) but might be simpler to write and implement: Forget about the whole destiny thing. Call it the Hunter, with the power to collect trophies. Every time you win an encounter with no allies on your side, you get a "trophy" (a token). When you have X trophies, you win the game. X=6? 7? Eight seems too many.

It has the advantage over Siren that it never loses its trophies, but it has the disadvantage that it doesn't have as many opportunities to gain trophies, and it can't have allies when doing so.
 
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Chris O
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As far as being similar to Silencer goes, I am OK with that. Silencer sucks and is annoying and I think it deserves the Laser ---> Magician treatment, thought this was not my intention with Hunter. Keep in mind though that Silencer does way more than just prevent alliances. On top of that, Hunter will not allow you to make ONLY your opponent have no allies, the restriction also applies to you as well.

As for your other suggestion, that seems probably a better idea. Multiple people have mentioned that the increased tokens per players thing is bad.

I will edit it.
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Just a Bill
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Well, you were right and I should have listened but I didn't and now here we are. So stop saying 'I told you so' and pass the calamine lotion.
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Here's an idea ... Every time you win an encounter with no allies on your side, you get a "trophy" (a token).

I have a homebrew that works somewhat like this (although it's not an alt-win). It gets one "trophy" per win, and the trophy is one of the losing ships (captured and stacked on the alien sheet), which is just a nice side-benefit in addition to the power's main effect; a kid's-meal slice of Void, if you will. (My alien does not hunt on every encounter; just once in awhile when it's advantageous.)

If you like that, it could be used to help differentiate Hunter from Siren. If you do go that route, just make sure you define this as "capturing" the ship to avoid ambiguity with the (very few) rescuing effects in the game.
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Chris O
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The whole trophy idea sounds pretty cool, but if I implemented that those ships would have a special rule where they can never be interacted with again for the rest of the game. I can't have Hunter's victory points getting messed up.
 
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mar hawkman
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Bill Martinson wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Here's an idea ... Every time you win an encounter with no allies on your side, you get a "trophy" (a token).

I have a homebrew that works somewhat like this (although it's not an alt-win). It gets one "trophy" per win, and the trophy is one of the losing ships (captured and stacked on the alien sheet), which is just a nice side-benefit in addition to the power's main effect; a kid's-meal slice of Void, if you will. (My alien does not hunt on every encounter; just once in awhile when it's advantageous.)

If you like that, it could be used to help differentiate Hunter from Siren. If you do go that route, just make sure you define this as "capturing" the ship to avoid ambiguity with the (very few) rescuing effects in the game.
I like it! I think it'd be fun to play that.
 
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Chris O
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I noticed I still had some of the description as if it had the old function of the power. Noting here that it has been changed to correctly state what it does in a very "pithy" format.
 
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