Sunday, May 9, 2010

Alien Strategy Series: Clone

First appearance: Eon base set.

Plain-English power: May keep own encounter card.

Loved by: Mutant; Hacker; Magician, Barbarian.

Loathed by: Filch.

Three ways to win as Clone:
  1. Spend some time early in the game trying to get cards as rewards. Once you can get your hands on a great encounter card, like the 30 or 40, you'll be extremely hard to stop.
  2. It's difficult to get a new hand of cards as Clone, so if you think you'd like a new hand, you'll have to not use your power early and often. It may be better to go ahead and keep those undesirable cards, so you can retain them for compensation to other players. No sense making it easier for them to get any of your decent cards, like artifacts or flares.
  3. Commit your ships to the encounter when you are the attacker. Everyone assumes Clone has a great card, even before they've seen anything he's played. You can bluff players sometimes, and until you know how good your best card is, having four ships in there may be the difference between a win and a loss.
    Three ways to win against Clone:
    1. If Clone has a particularly good card, you need to get it out of his hand, or he'll mop the floor with you. This is an alien that's worth spending a Cosmic Zap on- otherwise that encounter card will be the gift that keeps giving. With other aliens, like Virus or Anti-Matter or even Loser, a Cosmic Zap becomes more about waiting for the right moment to play. Stopping Clone with a 40 is in everyone's best interests.
    2. Gang up on Clone, especially when you know what his best card probably is (the one he keeps playing). You can do the math, because you know what spread you have to beat.
    3. Clone will probably play his best card on defense as well as offense, because why not? Ally with him if you don't think the offense can beat the spread, and get some good cards out of the deal. Similarly, don't invite Clone to ally with the defense, because you can't afford letting him get an even better encounter card.
    Other notes:

    The FFG version of Clone clearly indicates that his or her encounter card is not really subject to compensation. The power text explains, "...after the encounter is resolved (and after any compensation is claimed), you may use this power to return your encounter card to your hand instead of discarding it." Thus, the encounter card is still lying face up on the table and not part of the hand. In past versions of CE, this was certainly an area that was open to debate, and I know my group discussed whether or not Filch could take Clone's card, or if anyone could get that card by negotiating for compensation. This version definitely makes Clone more powerful.

    At CE Online? Yes.

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