Thursday, February 5, 2009

CE alien survey #16: CITADEL

First appearance: Fantasy Flight Games.

Plain-English power: Attack cards can be placed as fortifications on planets.

Loved by: Turtle/porcupine strategists; those who like solidifying their conquests. Spiff says "Bring it on!"

Loathed by: Space Invaders, win-inverters such as Loser and Anti-Matter (because Citadel's power is optional), and Virus & Chosen (Citadel can compete with their totals ).

Three ways to win as Citadel:
  1. Citadel's slightly-less obvious gimmick is shedding low Attack cards quickly and getting some use out of them. Fortify with the lowest cards, use high Attacks in encounters. When you meet in the middle, it's time to draw a fresh hand!
  2. Protect what you conquer! Once you get a foreign colony, slap down an Attack of reasonable power (8 to 10). Your power comes from the fact that you'll rarely lose a foreign colony you take (except against the Shadow). This has the added advantage of granting a bargaining chip for being invited to ally on defense (i.e. "I'll only activate my citadels if you invite me!") This is a doubly-potent advantage once you have your Flare (and can then turn the citadels inward to attack the planet).
  3. Protect your home! With some notable exceptions (Warpish, Masochist), you want every battle against your home system to fail miserably. More opponents in the Warp means less flexibility for them, and reduced ability to ally against you when you're going for the win.
Three ways to win against Citadel:
  1. While Citadel's fortifications are powerful, they don't move. Simply size up which planet has the lowest total defense (ships plus fortifications) and strike.
  2. You don't want Citadel to get its Flare and start turning its defense satellites into orbital death rays. Man the Card Zap harpoons!
  3. Citadels go away if they fail to defend. Plus, they only add to the total. Spiff charges headlong into them with excellent results!
At CE Online? No.

Anything else? Citadel is a great implementation of a "planet improvement" mechanic. It plays very much like an "arrow tower" or "bunker" structure from an RTS game.

— Submitted by Zach Gaskins


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