Monday, February 9, 2009

CE alien survey #18: TRIPLER

First appearance: Cosmic Encounter Online.

Plain-English power: Your Attack card triples if 10 or less; reduced to 1/3 if more than 10.

Loved by: Statisticians; players willing to settle for so-so cards; "win-inversion" powers (Anti-Matter, Loser, Spiff).

Loathed by: Filch.**

Three ways to win as Tripler:
  1. More than two-thirds of the Attack cards benefit you. Normally, Attacks average around 10; in your hand, the average is more like 15.
  2. Because the modes are 6, 8, 4, and 10, you have a plethora of Attack 18, 24, 12, and 30s. Negotiate to sue for cards others would normally be happy to be rid of.
  3. Don't be afraid to play the high cards (20 through 40) when you have an overwhelming ship advantage. You'd rather see them in the discard pile than sitting alone in your hand, waiting for someone to steal them via compensation.
Three ways to win against Tripler:
  1. Because high cards are bad for Tripler, he'll likely leave them until last in his hand. Negotiate for cards when Tripler's hand is small and you may get a nice surprise!
  2. As a mandatory power, Tripler is "always on," so save a Cosmic Zap for when he really needs to pull out a win. Make that Attack 10 just an Attack 10.
  3. If you have to strike a deal with Tripler, consider this: giving him your Attack 10 would be worth him giving you any Attack card greater than 10. In most cases, 8s and 10s for Tripler are guaranteed victories (except against Virus and the win-inverters). Use them as offers instead of the usual "colony for colony" lameness, and see if he warms to your proposal!
At CE Online? That's where it comes from.

Anything else? Math powers, while great at forcing opponents to think differently about their cards, can tend to burn brains in their complexity and make for less-enjoyable games. Tripler is a good example of a simple math power that doesn't cause too much analysis paralysis.

— Submitted by Zach Gaskins

** Also loathed by CE Online veteran AP. Be sure to ask him about Tripler sometime.

26 comments:

Mark said...

The only thing I might add is that the Tripler is also loved by: fans of Torchwood. (Compare the alien music at CEOnline to the TV theme.)

Adam said...

I'd rather be Dork!
OK, maybe not.

Lou said...

So why don't you like Tripler AP?

Adam said...

See the Anti-Matter comments for more details (same problem there), but put simply: I don't like powers that just change which card range is effective for you. Generally, I don't think it makes much of a difference. Combine this with a general preference for optional powers, and Trip and I just weren't meant to be. :(

TheDukester said...

My love for Tripler helps make up for it, though.

Sidebar: one of my favorite CE moments is guessing right on a Tripler zap. You get zapped, but ... surprise! ... you were playing the 30 or 40.

There's a bit of luck there, of course, but it's possible to track the zaps, listen to table-talk, etc., etc., and take a reasonable guess at when you might get zapped.

Toomai said...

That was one reason I was slightly disappointed when I found out that Tripler's power gets used after cards are revealed in FFGCE instead of before in CEO.

Adam said...

I actually love those moments, too; however, that timing really doesn't make sense. No alien with a similar ability activates then. It's only optional abilities that are supposed to be called at that timing.

That said, I like to exaggerate my dislike for Tripler. He's far from the worst alien Cosmic's ever seen, and there's even quite a few worse examples online: Brat, Dork, Ghost.

TheDukester said...

Wow, I guess that shows that I've yet to play Tripler in his new FFG clothes, huh? I hadn't even realized that there's a timing difference.

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