Sunday, April 24, 2011

The First Fifteen: Trader

First in a series of articles taking a (mostly) fond look back at the 15 aliens included in the original 1977 release of Cosmic Encounter:
Name: Trader
Description: "Trades hands with opponent"
Power: "You have the power of transference"
Art: A space crab
The rule it breaks: You're stuck with your own cards; you can't just grab other players' cards
Still active? Yes; included in the FFG core set
CE Online? Yes; one of the six aliens which can be played for free
One-sentence pass/fail test*: Pass. "You get to trade hands with another player."
Power scale (1-5): 4. Trader can be an absolute game-changer if the timing is right.
For 30 years, Trader fans have said: "That's right ... come to papa!"
For 30 years, Trader detractors have said: "What? Twenty-seven cards for one? Clearly, this game is broken."

* A completely arbitrary test of whether an alien power can be explained to a CE newcomer in exactly one sentence, using basic English.

20 comments:

Rob Burns said...

Awesome idea for a series.

Trader is great, very Cosmic, even though I don't like playing against it at all. Generally I like building my hand and preparing it for those final two foreign colonies; Trader hoses all that pretty thoroughly. But it's great because it (a) changes the nature of the game, which is Cosmic, and (b) it really helps its player.

By the way, if you ever continue your strategy series, I'll contribute one or two more articles to it.

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