Friday, February 6, 2009

CE alien survey #17: DICTATOR

First appearance: Eon expansion #1.

Plain-English power: You determine who attacks whom.

Loved by: Control freaks; those who like being involved in every encounter; fans of horned lizards.

Loathed by: Those who do not take direction well; certain "advantage" aliens, who will likely find themselves sent to far-off planets where their advantages mean little.

Three ways to win as Dictator:
  1. The current encounter is yesterday's news. Why? Because you were thinking about it during the last encounter. With Dictator, it's always possible to be one step ahead of your foes; take advantage of this rare gift. You control the action; think ahead.
  2. Probably moreso than any other power, Dictator is the ultimate pay-attention alien. Barring some unforeseen Cosmic weirdness, you will literally be involved in every encounter of the game. Focus! If you're too busy trying to watch Lost or Battlestar Galactica, then play another alien.
  3. Play your foes off against each other. Are there two players tied for first place? Make sure they see a lot of each other. Two players who are likely to ally? Make sure one of them ends up being the defensive player. One power with a decided advantage over another? Find him a tougher foe.
Three ways to win against Dictator:
  1. The first thing to do is just deal with the situation. It does no good to get angry at either the power or the player; it is what it is. You've got to roll with it.
  2. It might be time to play unconventionally. If Dictator has chosen you as the defensive player (or, on offense, sent you to attack a certain player), it's likely he has a reason for doing so: namely, he expects you to win or lose (whatever helps the ol' lizard more), and probably rather handily. But who says Dictator gets to decide how you play your hand? Consider some non-traditional plays: throw out unexpected Ns, play high cards on defense, play artifacts early or late, do whatever you can to make Dictator think twice.
  3. The surest way to let Dictator know that he's not the only big dog at the table is to keep him uninvited in alliance situations. Dictator will often troll around to try to pick up what would normally be routine invitations to join either side. But just because he thinks he has a good plan doesn't mean he should then get an engraved invitation.
At CE Online? Yes (with different rules, too).
— Submitted by Duke Ritenhouse


Big Head Zach said...

As mentioned in other BGG articles, changes like the one done to Dictator ensure that players rarely ever get the feeling that another player is controlling/dominating them, but rather that strategies are being exploited. Considering how much more diverse a demographic this version seems to be attracting, I'd say it was a smart move.

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with the limitation to Dictator, but I dislike the mechanics of the new version. Sorta clumsy.

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