Fantasy Flight introduced a new type of encounter card to the deck, called a Morph.
When revealed, the card becomes an exact duplicate of whatever encounter card is played by the other main player.
The base set for the FFG version of CE contains only one Morph. If for some reason you had two Morphs facing off against each other, both sides of the encounter would automatically lose.
Variants by Jack Reda
Additional Morph cards can easily be added with different effects, for example:
- This card is equal to the number of cards in your opponent's hand when revealed.
- This card is equal to the number of your ships not in the warp when revealed.
- This card is equal to the number of ships involved in the encounter when revealed.
- This card is equal to the number of ships in the warp when revealed.
This variant consists of a number of new morph cards with different texts. You do not use all of them in the same game, but rather shuffle a random subset of them into the cosmic deck (like you do with flares). Thus the exact mixture in the deck is always different and you can never count on a particular morph being present in, or absent from, the current game.
If there is enough interest, once the mechanics and card texts are vetted by the player community I'll see if I can post a PDF of the card images.
1. Before dealing players' starting hands, remove the original Morph card from the cosmic deck (and also from the reward deck if using that variant) and leave it/them in the box. In this variant, those original cards are represented by the equivalent Morph (Copy) card (which may or may not end up in the cosmic deck).
2. Shuffle the morph deck and deal out a number of cards from it, unseen, equal to the number of players. Always deal at least five morph cards, even if there are fewer than five players. Put the remainder of the morph deck back in the box; it will not be used in this game.
3. Take the five or more dealt morph cards and shuffle them, unseen, into the cosmic deck. (The deck will contain exactly half as many morph cards as it does flare cards.)
Using the Morphs
* Each morph has its own unique title (for compatibility with things like Finder), but they all have the same card type. Thus, for example, if you have more than one morph card in your hand you only have to lose one to a Plague, and if Hate chooses any morph card for his power, you can discard any other morph card to avoid losing three ships of Hate's choice.
* They are used in the same way as other encounter cards, but have special effects printed on them. The text on the card always takes effect after encounter cards are revealed in an encounter.
* A few of the new cards are like the original Morph and duplicate another card, but most are replaced by another encounter card in some manner. When this happens, the replaced morph card is discarded (not swapped to the other card's location or returned to hand).
* The new cards are designed so they can always be converted to a non-morph card (i.e., an attack or a negotiate). Most are resolvable even when the opponent reveals a morph. A few of the cards can create situations where resolution is not possible, and those cards specify what happens in those cases.
* The original Morph vs. Morph rule (that both players lose the encounter if they both reveal morph cards) applies only to the original Morph card. The new cards are governed by a similar but more flexible rule: If for some reason a morph card cannot be converted into a non-morph card, the player whose encounter card it is loses the encounter. (This is backwards-compatible with the original rule.)
* Morphs can chain: it is possible in a few cases for a morph to become a different morph. When this happens, the new morph is resolved according to its own text and this continues until the card eventually becomes an attack or negotiate.
MORPH (CLAIM) — Name an encounter card (except a morph) for this card to become. It must currently exist in the game. However, if any player shows that a copy of that card is under his or her control or in a discard pile, you lose the encounter unless you have a copy of it in your hand.
Can you get away with saying "attack 40"? Or should you settle for an attack 16 since you know where that card is? This is basically an expert-level card, since using it well depends upon knowing the card distribution. Pay attention to cards removed from the game by Sargasso Web, since you cannot name a card that doesn't exist in the game.
MORPH (CONTRADICT) — Contradict your opponent's encounter card. If your opponent's card is an attack card, this card becomes a negotiate. If it is a negotiate, this card becomes an attack 00. If it is any morph card, you lose the encounter.
Generally, you'll either win the encounter or collect compensation (unless he's Pacifist, reveals a morph, etc.). Like a negotiate, this is a good card to play when Loser declares an upset and you have no attack cards left.
MORPH (DELEGATE) — Select another player. That player must play an encounter card to replace this one. If he or she cannot, this card becomes a negotiate.
Pick an ally who has a good card to help you both win, pick another player just to force him to lose an encounter card, pick your opponent if you think he's already played his worst card, or pick somebody who's out of cards if you actually want a negotiate.
MORPH (DRAW) — Draw from the deck until you draw an encounter card, which then replaces this one. Each non-encounter card you draw is shown to the other players and added to your hand.
MORPH (DUMP) — You may discard your entire hand. If you do and it contains any attack cards, add them together and this card becomes an attack card with a value equal to that total. Otherwise, this card becomes a negotiate.
Dump early for the big hit? Or dump late when you're almost ready to get a new hand and about to lose your non-encounter cards anyway?
I almost called this one Morph (Blitzkrieg). I wish there was a nice simple word for "all in" that would be meaningful to folks who don't play poker.
MORPH (FIND) — Name an encounter card. If other player(s) have that card in their hand(s), the one closest to your left must play it to replace this one. If no other player has the named card, your opponent names an existing encounter card (except a morph) for this card to become.
Get whatever you want, but make sure you know somebody really has it or you'll be revealing whatever card would be worst for you.
MORPH (FLIP) — Flip the top card of the deck. If it is an encounter card, it replaces this one. Otherwise, discard it and this card becomes an attack 17.
MORPH (FORESHADOW) — Show an encounter card from your hand for this one to duplicate, then return that card to your hand or give it to any player. If you cannot show a card, this card becomes an attack 00.
Generally best for cloning a good card so you can use it twice, but there could also be a few situations where you want to play a losing card and then foist that card on somebody else. Either way, you get to see the other guy's card before you decide, a trait this card shares with ...
MORPH (PLAY) — You may play an encounter card from your hand to replace this one. If you do not, this card becomes a negotiate.
This one and Foreshadow essentially make you the Oracle for one encounter. The Play version is optional (rare among these morphs) gives you the option to default to a negotiate if you like.
MORPH (RECYCLE) — Scan the discard pile and take the topmost encounter card (except a morph) to replace this one. If no such cards are in the discard pile, then this card becomes an attack 11 instead.
MORPH (REVERSE) — Duplicate your opponent's encounter card. If it is an attack card, reverse its digits on your copy. For example, if your opponent has an attack 12 then you have an attack 21. If your opponent's card is any morph card, you lose the encounter.
Original Morph + a one-sided Mirror.
MORPH (SEARCH) — Search the discard pile for one encounter card (except a morph) to replace this one. If no such cards are in the discard pile, you lose the encounter.
MORPH (STEAL) — Look at your opponent's hand and choose one encounter card from it to replace this one. If you cannot, your opponent looks at your hand and chooses an encounter card to replace this one. If he or she also cannot, this card becomes an attack 33.
Do you go the safer route and play it when your opponent has a large hand, or try to time it just right so it's your last encounter card when facing an opponent with no encounter cards so you get that 33?
MORPH (SWITCH) — Switch your opponent's encounter card with this card. You may then play an encounter card from your hand to replace this card. If you do not, this card becomes a negotiate for your opponent.
If you wonder why the opening sentence seems like it could be recast, it's because this is written to work properly even when you reveal it as Cavalry.
MORPH (TAKE) — Take up to one card at random from each other player's hand, in any order. Add taken non-encounter cards to your hand. If you take an encounter card, it replaces this one and you stop taking cards. Otherwise, this card becomes a negotiate.
Start with Filch or Clone and hope for a fat attack? Or start with the guys who have the most non-encounter cards and try to get as many special effects as possible?
MORPH (COPY) — Duplicate your opponent's encounter card. If your opponent's card is any morph card, you lose the encounter.
This is the revision of the original Morph card, renamed with a unique card title (for things like Finder) and with the old Morph vs. Morph rule built into its text.
Variant by Bill Martinson
See also Special Challenge Cards