Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Locust ready to devour unwary players

The third alien preview for the upcoming Cosmic Incursion expansion has been posted, and it appears to be Cosmic Encounter's answer to Marvel Comics' Galactus.

Everyone say hello to Locust.


Toomai said...

Locust should give players reason to not ask for allies on offense. Maybe then they'll learn that they're not necessary.

Adam said...

Hello, Locust.

Despite how awesome it sounds to devour a planet, I wonder how good this power is. Some people complain that powers like Void or Barbarian and other intimidation powers are difficult to use because they require that you win an encounter without the power's assistance before your power can do anything for you. This power not only does nothing for you until after you win, but only helps if you win without the help of allies. In a four-player game, okay, sure, but here we are adding a sixth player set while introducing an alien that benefits from having fewer opponents.

Even difficulties in using the power put aside, what do you gain? A permanent colony, okay, but it is rare for a colony to be removed in the first place. All that is left as an advantage is that it doesn't leave an empty planet for others to attack, so you'll occasionally force an opponent into a slightly more difficult encounter, an encounter you may not even be a part of.

I'm sure I'm missing something if this made it in. Guess I'll have to try it for myself to understand the strategic appeal. It's certainly cool, at least!

Lindsey said...

Yep -- I agree with Adam. This sounds fairly weak. Still, I really like it for the coolness of making a planet vanish from the cosmos.

There is one more advantage to the power: You get your tokens back for use elsewhere. That's a decent bonus.

The permanent colony aspect would be nice with Wrack/Assassin/Bully/Filth/etc, but otherwise wouldn't get you much. And yes, removing the planet isn't even that nasty to the other players.

On the down side, I suspect that some inexperienced players will fight tooth and nail to avoid having their planet devoured, so it could sometimes be a liability.

The Warp said...

It depends on what makes a power strong- if you mean "helps you win an encounter", then Locust is not terribly strong. It may be able to commit more ships later in the game, but that's not a big advantage.
We actually had a couple of players say they thought Locust was too strong. It was based on being victim to Locust's power. So, it's all on your point of view.
I for one am not interested in getting 20 powers in CI that all help you win an encounter. CE is a lot more dynamic and social than pure combat. Aliens that do different things are far more interesting to me.
Take Disease. That one doesn't help you win an encounter, and probably isn't asked to ally very often (though I am sure Locust will be invited aplenty). But Disease has also been considered too powerful- and was neutered a bit in the Mayfair version. I am quite happy to not see people trying to come up with the next "Virus".

TheDukester said...

I've already come full circle on this one.

My first impression was positive, then I started to really question its usefulness, but now I'm back to liking it more than disliking it.

The key, I guess, is how effective it is to leave no empty planets behind. It's an intriguing notion, since it IS annoying to do all the work to take a planet with a solo attack, only to have it be the most inviting target when other players go on offense.

So I'm back to liking it, if only for that reason. I'm unsure how effective Locust will be in terms of winning **games** ... I haven't given it a ton of thought yet.

Adam said...

Oh, I'm well aware that not all aliens have to be combat powers. In fact, I tend to prefer non-combat powers since I don't like powers you can only use as a main player, which accounts for most combat powers.

That's not my reason for questioning Locust's usefulness. I just don't see the advantages as being that great, and the difficulty of gaining a colony single-handedly without a combat power will limit even the frequency of these somewhat lackluster advantages.

Again, I'm liable to completely change my mind after playing it, just spouting out poorly informed guesswork right now for funsies.

Unknown said...

I like it. Its power is of two indirect effects on the game. First, it makes it hard for players to get back their own home bases. Should they lose their power, they are really hard pressed. Second, there are effects that can remove ships from colonies. A few powers do it, but most of it comes from Flares. Flares are used to remove foreign colonies. Locust has less foreign colony targets. The third indirect power has already been touched upon - ship resource. Without having to keep ships on foreign colonies, Locust has more to play with elsewhere, such as defending home colonies.

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