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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Variants

Subject: Hazard Aliens rss

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Jack Reda
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This is a variant we just tried out and found quite entertaining.

Each player receives two aliens at start up. One is chosen as their Primary alien, which they reveal at the beginning of the game.

The second alien is the Hazard alien.

Whenever Destiny reveals a Hazard icon, players MAY switch to their Hazard alien. If they do so, it must be during the Destiny phase. At the end of the Resolution phase, players that switched to a Hazard alien must then switch back.

Players must consider that they may not always be a main player during a Hazard encounter. Aliens with Game Setup text should not be used as Hazard aliens. When you switch, your Primary alien is suspended. So, for example, if you are Macron, your ships are now worth only 1; if you are Fungus, the ships in your stack do not add; if you are Filth, everyone needs to watch out for what happens when you switch back.

Should Hazard aliens be revealed at the beginning of the game? That's an optional sub-variant. We've done it each way and found both to be fun.

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Barney Bustoffson
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I like this. I don't know why we haven't been thinking up and using alternate mechanics for those hazard icons. I bet there's quite a few ways to take advantage of a built-in component to the game.

goo
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Ken H.
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Cool! That sounds fun. Other possible variations:

--make the switch mandatory instead of optional
--make it permanent (until the next hazard) instead of temporary
--make it affect main players only (or non-main players only, or whatever) instead of everyone
--mix and match the above: such as, the player who drew the hazard makes a mandatory permanent switch, the defensive player makes a mandatory temporary switch, the non-mains may make optional temporary or permanent switches.

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Jefferson Krogh
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This variant might be a good way to ease newer players into full-on double-power mode. I have found that when the Precursor Seed tech becomes a popular choice, it's a good time to suggest adding more powers.
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Jack of Clubs
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Or when the Hazard icon comes up, everyone is *both* powers for that encounter.

And maybe after the encounter is over, they go back to just one power, but it's the *other* power!

The possibilities are unlimitless.
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Just a Bill
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Very cool idea.

The Warp wrote:
Aliens with Game Setup text should not be used as Hazard aliens.

Why is that? Seems like it would work in principle.

Bustoffson wrote:
I don't know why we haven't been thinking up and using alternate mechanics for those hazard icons.

Some of us have been. ;-) I've got a homebrew or two that use the hazard icon and several planetary profiles trigger when one is revealed.

Rubric wrote:
--make the switch mandatory instead of optional
--make it permanent (until the next hazard) instead of temporary
--make it affect main players only (or non-main players only, or whatever) instead of everyone
--mix and match the above: such as, the player who drew the hazard makes a mandatory permanent switch, the defensive player makes a mandatory temporary switch, the non-mains may make optional temporary or permanent switches.

I like all of these ideas. Along these lines:

Everyone chooses and reveals their primary. Then everyone chooses their secondary and keeps it hidden. When a hazard comes up, the player whose color it is (i.e., the defense) switches to his secondary until the next one comes up. Thus, you choose your secondary knowing that when it is in play it will be facing everyone else's primaries.

Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
This variant might be a good way to ease newer players into full-on double-power mode.

Yeah, nice way to get the variety of multiple powers without the real-time doubling of brain demand.

Phil Fleischmann wrote:
The possibilities are unlimitless.

A variant that is not to be misunderestimated.
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Gerald Katz
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I think it's about time I actually buy the latest expansion.
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Ken H.
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hadsil wrote:
I think it's about time I actually buy the latest expansion.


Yeah, I know that feeling. I've had it for over a year now.... soblue
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Jefferson Krogh
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Bustoffson wrote:
I like this. I don't know why we haven't been thinking up and using alternate mechanics for those hazard icons. I bet there's quite a few ways to take advantage of a built-in component to the game.

goo


There are! When I got my second copy of Incursion and started adding stuff to my Rewards deck, it occurred to me that I could create my own "reverse cone" graphic and affix it to one side of the hyperspace gate. Then I could just say that the hazard warning meant the reverse cone was in effect, just like in the Mayfair days.

About a week later, Conflict came out with the Reverse Rewards Hazard, so I dropped that plan. For now. I may come back to it from a different angle eventually. Maybe taking the Reverse Rewards out of the Hazard deck and putting it back in the Destiny deck with special cards, like in Mayfair.
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Adam Rouse
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Neat idea. You could even make hazard cards specifically for the variant, either in place of the hazard deck or in addition to it.

* Anyone who loses ships this encounter must discard one of his aliens and draw a new one to replace it.
* For the duration of this encounter, both main players have use of both of their aliens.
* All players pass their secondary alien to the right.
* Each main player's primary alien becomes the secondary alien and vice versa.
* Permanent: Each time a hazard is drawn, the player with the highest total of home and foreign colonies must discard his secondary alien. If that player has already lost his second alien, the next player must do so. In the event of a tie, use the timing rule to determine who is affected.

Not worded perfectly, but you get the idea.
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Luke O'Hearn
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This is a neat idea.

Rubric wrote:
Cool! That sounds fun. Other possible variations:

--make the switch mandatory instead of optional
--make it permanent (until the next hazard) instead of temporary



Instinctively I'm inclined to prefer the mandatory over optional in this case. I like it to permanent because it hugely decreases the number of aliens that would be useless as a Hazard Alien.

Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
I have found that when the Precursor Seed tech becomes a popular choice, it's a good time to suggest adding more powers.


This is exactly why I don't play full on with two powers. I think that variant cheapens Precursor Seed along with affects in any other variants which allow you to actually earn a second power (eg, lucre).

 
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