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Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls... how can you not love that concept for a game? Many do, and many questions have arisen from these gamers about specific situations and such. The answers below reflect the collective brain trust of the SJG Forums, with extra deference to Giles Schildt wherever he weighed in with an Official Answer.
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Note that the term Specials refers to the various "Usable Once Only" Toys such as Adrenaline Surge and Secret Door.
Can I play Specials on other players' Catgirls?
No. You can only play them on your own crew. --Giles
Are Specials treated like other Toys for the purpose of being assigned? Or can I have seven Toys plus a Special or two in my hand?
Specials are Toys, and as such they must be assigned to Catgirls or left as one of your two unassigned Toy cards. --Giles
Do I have to assign a Special to the appropriate Catgirl before using it? For example, do I have to assign Caffeinated Rum to the knocked-out Catgirl to bring her back?
No. Specials do not have to be assigned to the Catgirl they're being used on. If anyone in your crew has a Special, you can play that Special on any one of your Catgirls at any time. --Giles
A normal Catgirl can only benefit from one Toy at a time. Does that mean that if my Catgirl is getting +2 to a skill from a Toy that I can't play Adrenaline Surge for another +3?
No, you can play the Adrenaline Surge for a total of +5. A Catgirl can only have one Toy assigned to her at a time, but benefiting from the effects of a Special is not the same thing as being assigned a Toy.
If one of my Catgirls fails a Challenge and I use Only A Scratch! or Caffeinated Rum to immediately revive her, can she roll again?
Yes, since you revived her immediately. But she doesn't get the +2 bonus for learning from her mistake, since you only get that on your next turn. --Giles
Can I use Adrenaline Surge to salvage failure? That is, if I fail a roll by 2, can I retroactively add the +3 and succeed after all?
Yes. That's no different than playing a reroll Special after the fact. --Giles
Toys in General
When can I reassign Toys?
For the most part, you can reassign them freely, at any time. Between Challenges, between being named as a defender in a Catfight and the actual Catfight, etc. The only restrictions are when your Catgirl fails a roll that would knock her out. If she cannot take one of the actions under Salvaging Failure (and note that she cannot do so in a Catfight), she is immediately knocked out, which means that you cannot unassign her Toys.
Can I salvage failure by trading Toys if my Catgirl already has a Toy (or two Toys, for the Captain)?
Yes, if that would prevent her from being knocked out. (You can't swap Toys with a Catgirl on her way to unconsciousness -- it must remain assigned to her.)
Can I salvage failure by taking a Toy that's been assigned to another one of my Catgirls? The rules only mention unassigned Toys and other players' Toys.
Yes, assuming you're not trying to take the Toy from a knocked-out Catgirl. Logically, even if this were not allowed, you could just have that other Catgirl swap her Toy for an unassigned one, making the new Toy unassigned and therefore legal. So there's no reason to restrict this.
When salvaging failure, can I borrow a Toy that doesn't give me enough of a bonus to succeed, and then Use It 'Til It Breaks to get a reroll?
No, for two reasons. The Salvaging Failure rules only allow you to reassign a Toy if it would give your Catgirl enough of a bonus to succeed. The same rules also state that you can only discard a Toy for a reroll (i.e., use it 'til it breaks) if your catgirl already had it on her.
(Note that Giles once said otherwise on the forums, but as the rules are very explicit about this, I would have to consider that an error.)
My Captain fails a Challenge roll. I choose to "use her Toy 'til it breaks" and assign her a new one (before the reroll) as well. She fails, so I use the new Toy 'til it breaks and assign her another new one. If she fails, I do it again and again. Is this legal?
Yes, and impressive, but it will only work with the Captain and only if every single Toy you do this with gives a bonus to the one roll that the current Challenge happens to require. That's unlikely to ever happen, but if it does, go for it!
Since you can reassign Toys at any time, what effect do the negative modifiers have?
Negative modifiers will rarely be an issue, but it is possible for the rest of your crew to be Knocked Out while holding all of the "good" Toys, leaving only Toys with a negative modifier available. Ironically, the best use of these Toys is for the Zen Master Challenge, which is not a "No Toys" card, in which you may be able to use such a Toy to reduce your highest skill! (In such a case, it would also be fair to allow the Catgirl to Use It 'Til It Breaks, since she is getting a "bonus" of sorts.)
Capers and Catfights
When is victory determined? After the Caper but before the Catfight, or after the Catfight?
The Caper actually consists of the four Challenges followed by the (optional) Catfight round. Victory is determined at the end of the Caper, which means after the Catfight, if any.
Hypothetical Situation: My Captain is knocked out on a Challenge. I revive her right away with Caffeinated Rum and decide to end my turn. On my next turn, do I get the +2 for learning from my mistakes? Do I get the -1 for my Captain having been knocked out?
You get the +2 to learn from your Captain's mistakes, since it's the next round and one of your Catgirls was knocked out by the Challenge. You do not get the -1 because your Captain is not currently knocked out, which is all that matters. --Giles
In a Catfight, can I use a Ninja/Catgirl attack to steal any Toy/Poolboy that the other player owns? If not, why would he ever assign Poolboys to Catgirls during the Catfight phase?
You can only target a Toy/Poolboy belonging to the defending Catgirl, which means that unassigned Toys/Poolboys are completely safe from Ninja/Catgirl attacks. For this reason, players usually unassign their Poolboys during a Catfight -- but if they have some really nice Toys (such as Specials), that might not be an automatic thing.
In a Catfight, if my opponent launches a Ninja attack against one of my Catgirls to steal her Biggest Gun, do I have to leave it assigned to her? Or can I give her a Toy that boosts her Ninja skill?
You can reassign her Toys freely, which means it's fine to take off her Biggest Gun and replace it with Cute Ninja Stars -- but if you lose the Catfight, your opponent still gets the Biggest Gun. (This also applies to Pool Boys and Catgirl attacks.)
If my Captain is knocked out, are my other Catgirls at a -1 penalty in a Catfight?
Yes. The Catfight is part of the Caper, and all of their rolls in this Caper are penalized.
"They make wonderful decorations, don't they? But I swear, they're almost as much trouble as they're worth..."
Poolboys do not count as Loot for victory conditions.
In addition, in a Catfight, a Catgirl attack can be used to seduce away any Poolboy, regardless of who he's assigned to. Essentially, Catgirl attacks function much the same as Space Pirate attacks, but to steal Poolboys instead of Loot.
This rule makes it less likely for someone to win the game through lucky Toy draws. It makes the Poolboys more vulnerable to ensure that Catgirl attacks are still an attractive option in a Catfight.
"Now, you didn't think we were just going to let you walk away with all that Loot, did you?"
After resolving any Catfights between those who successfully finished the Caper, the crews who failed to complete it can make a surprise attack! Continue clockwise around the table from the previous Catfight. Obviously, only crews with at least one conscious catgirl can participate. Declare and resolve the attack normally. However, because this is a "hit and run", the attacker only gets one roll -- she cannot press the attack, use her Captain's reroll, use any toys to reroll, etc.
This rule increases the importance of Catfights as well as lengthening the endgame.
"She got blasted, too? All right, someone else try it -- that laser's got to run out of batteries eventually."
Once one player has successfully completed the Caper, play continues until every other player either finishes the Caper or ends up with all four catigrls Knocked Out. (This replaces the rule that gives each player only one chance to beat the Caper after the first player does so.)
This rule keeps the players more closely matched in Loot, adding tension and (indirectly) increasing the importance of Catfights, especially in the endgame. Obviously, it is incompatible with Ambush!, above.
"Mary Sue, I choose you!"
In a Catfight, the attacker chooses the catgirl he's attacking with and the type of attack. (He also declares the Toy being targeted, for a Ninja attack.) The defender then decides which catgirl he's defending with. The exception is Amazon attacks, in which the attacker still chooses his attacking catgirl and the defending catgirl.
Ninja attacks can target any Toy belonging to the opponent, regardless of which catgirl it's assigned to. Catgirl attacks can similarly target any Poolboy.
This rule makes Catfights (and, indirectly, the game itself) more tactical, as attacks can be blocked by an opponent's best catgirl. Attacks now target the crew as a whole, not one specific catgirl, allowing for a more interesting mix in combat. (Amazon attacks are the obvious exception, since their entire purpose is to kill specific catgirls.)
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