Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CE alien survey #5: SPIFF

First appearance: Mayfair, More Cosmic Encounter (1992)

Plain-English power: Gain a colony if your total is 10 (or more) lower than the defense's total.

Loved by: Calvin & Hobbes readers; test pilots; suicide jockeys; players who like Loser but don't want to declare their intentions.

Loathed by: Those who enjoy red-ass beatdowns.

Three ways to win as Spiff:
  1. Always send one ship. At worst (narrow loss), you lose that ship to the warp; otherwise, you gain a colony without detriment!
  2. Attack with 6s or less; defend with high cards.
  3. Attack the biggest defensive positions. Go after monstrosities such as Macron and Virus, who can't help but bring large totals on defense.
Three ways to win against Spiff:
  1. Save your high cards for offense.
  2. If you're not sure you can barely beat Spiff, pursue another option (such as playing Negotiate to grab cards, or self-quashing a deal).
  3. Since Spiff will be light with his attack ships, Plague him constantly to punish his frugality.
At CE Online? Not at this time.

Anything else? The text on the FFG version requires that the total specifically be lower; the original Mayfair text states that you merely lose by 10 or more. This makes Spiff less powerful against negation/math-flipping powers such as Anti-Matter. Perhaps something to be included in the FFG FAQ?

— Submitted by Zach Gaskins

16 comments:

Zach said...

An additional observation as I read this a hojillionth time...

Spiff is perfectly suited to take on the Warrior in the late game!

Ken said...

I'm interested to try this one. The ability requires a completely different kind of thinking/planning than any other alien. Nobody else cares how much they win or lose by. Maybe Calculator does, a little, but that's it.

The only thing I don't like is that it didn't need to be limited to offense only.

Adam said...

It wouldn't make sense to crash land on your own planet. It's very powerful as is, and the super flare allows it to keep one ship on defense, so your complaint isn't completely unanswered.

Zach said...

I thought the Super Spiff allowed you to lose by only 5, not let you crash-land on your own planet...

Lou said...

Is that a blaster and a lightsaber I see? :D

Toomai said...

Yeah, Super Spiff reduces the margin to 5. It's Wild Spiff that can retain a ship after a defensive loss.

Zach said...

Oh no, that would be a dreadful violation of copyright!

He is clearly dual-wielding an energy pistol and a plasma sword.

Adam said...

Ah, my bad, dawgs.

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