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Subject: Info from Essen Demo rss

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Rich P
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I was lucky enough to be at the demo of Alien Artifacts hosted by Tom Lehmann at Essen Spiel today. Four players tried out the new cards while a small group watched from the sidelines and asked questions. The cards were just printed onto standard playing cards, so it hasn't been printed yet but we saw what the final cards will look like on Tom's iPad! The Alien Orb wasn't used in the game - it was just the base game plus the new cards, so some of the new abilities relating to the Orb weren't relevant.

I was most interested in seeing the new start worlds. I hope I can remember them correctly. They are:

Rebel Mutineers - 2 cost military Novelty windfall, 0VPs, Explore: see+1, +1 military.
Frontier Capital - 2 cost military, 1VP, draw a card after developing, +1 military
Artifact Hunters - 3 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, keep+1, consume yellow into 2VPs
Uplift Researchers - 2 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, -1 to settle, settle an Uplift military as non-military
Sentient Robots - 2 cost military, 1VP, -1 to settle, +1 military, draw a card in production phase

Other fun cards include:
Imperial Supply Colony which lets you use leftover military to settle again.
Tranship Point lets you move all your brown goods onto it and save them for later.
Wormhole Prospectors is a crazy 6-cost Development which lets you flip the top card of the deck in the Settle phase and settle it for free if it's non-military.
Galactic Investors is a 5-cost Devlopment (3VPs) which lets you draw 2 cards for developing and Produces a card for having 5+ developments.
Interstellar Trade Port is a 5-cost Blue World (3VPs) which lets you consume up to four different coloured goods for 1VP and 1 card each.

Alien Orb sounded really fun but we didn't see those cards, just heard about how it works. There's a separate deck of cards for the Alien Orb. Players draw cards from this deck and use those to build the Orb as they explore it. It sounds like a collective tableau in the centre of the table - you decide what's in there by playing cards into it. Everyone has an extra role card that they can use to explore the Orb - choosing it lets you move your explorer first, others move in turn order (clockwise from lowest numbered start world). You have one explorer/space man to start with but can gain a second via a certain card(s?). Other cards give bonuses to how far you can move through the Alien Orb. As we didn't see the Alien Orb cards themselves, I don't know what sort of things you'll find in there.

As for release dates, Tom obviously couldn't confirm anything but it's hoped that it should be out early next year, perhaps for the Nurnberg show.

Edit: Updated with more info
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Nick Bolton
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This sounds a long way behind what I was expecting, but good to hear its still being developed.

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David desJardins
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I don't think it's still being developed. What gave you that idea? If he was showing off the final art, doesn't that suggest that development is long since complete?
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Artifact Hunters sounds great. Thanks for the info--pretty cool!
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Thanks for the info, Rich. Any news about the release of the game?
 
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Alien Orb sounded really fun but we didn't see those cards, just heard about how it works.

MOar!
 
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woodnoggin wrote:

Alien Orb sounded really fun but we didn't see those cards, just heard about how it works.


How does it work?
 
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woodnoggin wrote:

Rebel Mutineers - 2 cost military windfall, 0VPs, Explore: see+1, +1 military.


What type of windfall world though? I assume Novelty, but never know...
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Thanks for the information!

woodnoggin wrote:
Galactic Investors is a 5-cost Devlopment (3VPs) which lets you draw 2 cards for developing and Produces a card for having 5+ developments.

My eyes bulged at the "draw 2". Wow.

d0gb0t wrote:
Thanks for the info, Rich. Any news about the release of the game?

It was mentioned in another thread that RGG updated their site to say December 2012 release.
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Rich P
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I've updated the first post with a bit more info. Bear in mind that the set is designed to be played with the base game alone, so most of the cards won't be as wild as some of the stuff from the later expansions. The complexity level of the cards I saw isn't too great a step from the base game, which I think is fine since there's bound to be more complexity introduced by the Alien Orb itself.
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Andrzej Fiett
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Any photos, please?
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Other people took photos, I don't have a camera with me.
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There was also a flyer for Roll for the galaxy by Tom. Apparently it contains 110 dice!
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Where can I read smth about Roll?
 
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Tom spoke a little about Roll. It's been ready for a couple of years but won't be out until after Alien Artifacts, possibly due to the difficulty of producing a reasonably-priced game with so many custom dice. He was keen to stress this was not just Yahtzee in space and felt very different to most other dice games. I do know it involves a stack of tiles to explore through. They have worlds to settle on one side and developments on the other, their combined values totalling 7 so that an expensive world will be paired with a cheap development and vice versa. It wasn't the main topic of conversation so I don't know much more.
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jond wrote:
Apparently it contains 110 dice!


That sounds like an awful lot, though Quarriors had 130, so it's plausible.
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Lee Fisher
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jond wrote:
There was also a flyer for Roll for the galaxy by Tom. Apparently it contains 110 dice!


Isn't that actually by
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Both were credited on the flyer if I remember correctly.
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jond wrote:
There was also a flyer for Roll for the galaxy by Tom. Apparently it contains 110 dice!


Did anyone make photos of the flyer?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I don't think it's still being developed. What gave you that idea?


From what was described, it sounds like work is continuing to get this product ready for sale.

Pleased it now looks definately set for a release date in the near future.

The dice game sounds interesting too.
 
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Johan Haglert
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woodnoggin wrote:
I was lucky enough to be at the demo of Alien Artifacts hosted by Tom Lehmann at Essen Spiel today. Four players tried out the new cards while a small group watched from the sidelines and asked questions. The cards were just printed onto standard playing cards, so it hasn't been printed yet but we saw what the final cards will look like on Tom's iPad! The Alien Orb wasn't used in the game - it was just the base game plus the new cards, so some of the new abilities relating to the Orb weren't relevant.

I was most interested in seeing the new start worlds. I hope I can remember them correctly. They are:

Rebel Mutineers - 2 cost military Novelty windfall, 0VPs, Explore: see+1, +1 military.
Frontier Capital - 2 cost military, 1VP, draw a card after developing, +1 military
Artifact Hunters - 3 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, keep+1, consume yellow into 2VPs
Uplift Researchers - 2 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, -1 to settle, settle an Uplift military as non-military
Sentient Robots - 2 cost military, 1VP, -1 to settle, +1 military, draw a card in production phase

Other fun cards include:
Imperial Supply Colony which lets you use leftover military to settle again.
Tranship Point lets you move all your brown goods onto it and save them for later.
Wormhole Prospectors is a crazy 6-cost Development which lets you flip the top card of the deck in the Settle phase and settle it for free if it's non-military.
Galactic Investors is a 5-cost Devlopment (3VPs) which lets you draw 2 cards for developing and Produces a card for having 5+ developments.
Interstellar Trade Port is a 5-cost Blue World (3VPs) which lets you consume up to four different coloured goods for 1VP and 1 card each.
Doh, without the alien orb I don't see why bother. That's the new stuff. The other is just same old but different cards.

If it can be played separately like this I think it suck that it doesn't blend with the old expansion stuff. I suppose it can but won't be balanced with all the combinations? I could be interested in the cards and having more combinations but then I would like to be able to have it all / play it all together. Is there for instance enough interesting uplift cards in the base game to make uplift specific cards worthwhile in this expansion?

Regardless I think most of us who are interesting in buying more cards are interesting in buying even more cards. And as such want to play with all the cards we've bought and not just a few of them.

If still true it's with base game only I wish he rethought that. But I guess it use no new powers from the later expansions and dilute the deck with things not working with them (though I guess he could had easily had added some icons here and there.)
woodnoggin wrote:
Alien Orb sounded really fun but we didn't see those cards, just heard about how it works. There's a separate deck of cards for the Alien Orb. Players draw cards from this deck and use those to build the Orb as they explore it. It sounds like a collective tableau in the centre of the table - you decide what's in there by playing cards into it. Everyone has an extra role card that they can use to explore the Orb - choosing it lets you move your explorer first, others move in turn order (clockwise from lowest numbered start world). You have one explorer/space man to start with but can gain a second via a certain card(s?). Other cards give bonuses to how far you can move through the Alien Orb. As we didn't see the Alien Orb cards themselves, I don't know what sort of things you'll find in there.

As for release dates, Tom obviously couldn't confirm anything but it's hoped that it should be out early next year, perhaps for the Nurnberg show.

Edit: Updated with more info
Sounds random. Yet another way to score points but not mixing with the other things. Could had been a game on it's own instead or left out.

Totally ok as is but I want to be able with a combination of cards.
 
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Johan Haglert
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woodnoggin wrote:
I've updated the first post with a bit more info. Bear in mind that the set is designed to be played with the base game alone, so most of the cards won't be as wild as some of the stuff from the later expansions. The complexity level of the cards I saw isn't too great a step from the base game, which I think is fine since there's bound to be more complexity introduced by the Alien Orb itself.
Meh. I can see why someone would buy this alone or part / all of the arc 1. Possibly buy this instead of arc 1 if one consider the last expansion a little to much/breaking the game or whatever.

Also even the base cards got words and icons used for later sets so why not use them in this one.

I assume they can be mixed but become a broken (as seen by Tom) game.
 
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nickbolton wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
I don't think it's still being developed. What gave you that idea?


From what was described, it sounds like work is continuing to get this product ready for sale.

Pleased it now looks definately set for a release date in the near future.

The dice game sounds interesting too.
I guess one could ask if not why wait with showing the orb stuff but then again by not showing it he can try to raise hype (well, at least make it interesting) for and show it yet another time before release so ..
 
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Brendon Russell
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aliquis wrote:
Doh, without the alien orb I don't see why bother. That's the new stuff. The other is just same old but different cards.

Different cards = different play experience and different mix and balance of strategies, even for experienced players. The Gathering Storm (infamously, for some) only had about half as many new cards, but it was certainly enough to have a noticeable effect.

aliquis wrote:
Is there for instance enough interesting uplift cards in the base game to make uplift specific cards worthwhile in this expansion?

Were there enough interesting Uplift cards in the base game to make Clandestine Uplift Lab playable when The Gathering Storm came out, or to make Uplift Code playable when Rebel vs Imperium came out, etc? (The % of Uplift/chromosome cards in the deck is virtually identical with the base game vs base game + TGS, but gets higher with each expansion in the first arc.)

aliquis wrote:
Regardless I think most of us who are interesting in buying more cards are interesting in buying even more cards. And as such want to play with all the cards we've bought and not just a few of them.

I've played plenty of games with the original expansions, and I don't mind a "reboot" at all. I am looking forward to the custom deck design possibilities from combining cards from different arcs though, but only after getting mileage out of Alien Artifacts standalone as intended.

aliquis wrote:
[Alien Orb s]ounds random. Yet another way to score points but not mixing with the other things. Could had been a game on it's own instead or left out.

I don't see how you can judge its level of randomness (relative to the rest of the game) from what we know about it at this point. It does mix with "the other things": there are cards with powers that affect Orb exploration, and artifacts acquired from the Orb can provide powers that affect the rest of the game. (See Tom Lehmann's original post about the expansion: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/6266415#6266415)

aliquis wrote:
Meh. I can see why someone would buy this alone or part / all of the arc 1. Possibly buy this instead of arc 1 if one consider the last expansion a little to much/breaking the game or whatever.

Lots of people are put off from buying The Gathering Storm because of the relatively low number of new cards, so this expansion should have greater appeal to that segment of the potential audience.
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woodnoggin wrote:
I was most interested in seeing the new start worlds. I hope I can remember them correctly. They are:

Rebel Mutineers - 2 cost military Novelty windfall, 0VPs, Explore: see+1, +1 military.
Frontier Capital - 2 cost military, 1VP, draw a card after developing, +1 military
Artifact Hunters - 3 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, keep+1, consume yellow into 2VPs
Uplift Researchers - 2 cost, 1VP, Explore: see+1, -1 to settle, settle an Uplift military as non-military
Sentient Robots - 2 cost military, 1VP, -1 to settle, +1 military, draw a card in production phase

Is it just me or does Sentient Robots seem more powerful than the others, with both a settle discount and production card draw on top of its +1 military?

Also, interesting to see +1 keep on a start world, since IIRC the high cost of Research Labs was largely due to concerns that one player getting it out cheaply on turn 1 would provide too much of a disincentive for any other players to call the Explore phase.

woodnoggin wrote:
Other fun cards include:
Imperial Supply Colony which lets you use leftover military to settle again.
Tranship Point lets you move all your brown goods onto it and save them for later.
Wormhole Prospectors is a crazy 6-cost Development which lets you flip the top card of the deck in the Settle phase and settle it for free if it's non-military.
Galactic Investors is a 5-cost Devlopment (3VPs) which lets you draw 2 cards for developing and Produces a card for having 5+ developments.
Interstellar Trade Port is a 5-cost Blue World (3VPs) which lets you consume up to four different coloured goods for 1VP and 1 card each.

Imperial Supply Colony sounds very cool: a conditional Improved Logistics, done in a very intuitive way.

Wormhole Prospectors sounds like it could be a little too high-variance for my liking, but from it's a total home run from a flavour perspective: will we strike gold at the end of this new wormhole?
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