Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alien Strategy Series: Barbarian

First appearance: Fantasy Flight CE

Plain-English power: Ransacks opponent's hand, keeping what he wants, trashing the rest.

Loved by: Masochist. Love is probably too strong to describe Masochist's feelings about Barbarian, but it's all relative. Most aliens don't have much love for this guy.

Loathed by: Genius, Remora, and anyone that finally drew their own flare card.

Three ways to win as Barbarian:

- Commit big as the offense. You only get to use your power on your turn when attacking, so you should increase the odds as much as you can. Putting four ships in the gate will send a signal to the other players that you are confident you'll win, and it will attract more allies to your side and fewer to the defense's. Plus, the more ships you commit, the more cards you keep from the loser.

- Play the good cards early. Sometimes players are tempted to save their good attack cards for later in the game. When it's your turn, go for it. If you win, you'll get access to your opponent's hand, and if he or she has been saving some good cards, you'll get them.

- Ally with the defense when it's not your turn. You want to slow down other players from getting colonies, but you also want to keep adding good cards to your hand whenever you can. Then, when it's your turn, you have better cards to help you win, and other players have more incentive to ally with you.

Three ways to win against Barbarian:

- Unless you feel very confident that you can win as the defense against Barbarian, you might want to think about playing your negotiate. Barbarian loots your hand, but you get to collect your compensation after- so you may get back some of the good cards you had. Also be sure to consider playing all of your reinforcements onto Barbarian's side. No point in giving him any of those cards.

- Play your best attack card. If you don't, you may end up losing it anyway. Remember, you don't just lose the colony, you lose your hand. And even if you want to lose your hand, you don't want Barbarian to get the good card you didn't play.

- Barbarian is a great target for a plague. Even if he hasn't looted any player yet, a plague will weaken him and make it less likely he'll win on his turn.

Barbarian relies on getting some good cards on his turn. If you ally against him, you can shut him down for several encounter until his turn comes back around. Allying with the defense can also give you access to good cards in you're using the Reward deck. In those games, Barbarian will be even more keen on winning as the offense, so you must convince the other players to gang up on him.

At CE Online? No.

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