To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the 2nd Edition set.
PICTURE: Gowron is blurry, but how could you ever ignore him with those eyes... those eyes... (oops, sorry, that should be for a later review). In any case, all the attention is on Worf and HIS decision. Represents the title well and the 2E format really does enhance the card's look. Starting on the right foot with a 3.6.
LORE: For some reason I thought the quote ended with "worthy of song and story", but I'm probably thinking of another episode. In any case, it's a prologue to battle, which is what the card allows, and I really like the decision to move to principally quotes in the lore section - it seems to be done well for now, and gives 2E its own flavor beyond the look. A strong 4.
TREK SENSE: Assaults are cards that allow you to initiate combat (formerly
known as personnel battle), while a Maneuver allows you to begin an engagement
(or ship battle). Since the card allows both, that's how it should be.
However, the title doesn't exactly inspire either, especially the Maneuver.
I don't think the designers had political maneuvering in mind either. That
said, when you offer Klingons A Chance for Glory, they're ready to go into
battle, and that glory is translated into points. They have to win of course.
A simple enough card, and with the Klingons bent on battle, you don't need
too much convincing to get them into ANY type of battle. They're not stupid,
so they come prepared, which is perhaps why the Cost is so high, but I'm
not sure about that. That gets us to 4.4.
1E TREK SENSE: In 1E, the Klingons don't need permission to initiate battle, but they're still after glory. This card gives points for winning battles, and that still works out the same. 10 points IS a bit steep when compared to other, often more elaborate, points-for-battle schemes, so that's harder to justify, though of course, questions about the Cost disappear. If this were 1E, I'd have given it a 4.
STOCKABILITY: The Klingons' life blood is battle, and they certainly
have enough battle initiation cards. A Chance for Glory allows them to
begin either an engagement OR a combat. Now sure, BaH! is the better engagement
card (a bonus to Weapons to help out) and Let Honor Guide You may be more
to your liking in combat (a kill instead of points), or the equally killer
No Peace in Our Time in engagements, but A Chance for Glory gives you flexibility.
All of these cards play on your core, so not at the moment of battle. You
might not be sure what kind of situation your warriors will get into, but
you can know that either way, you can grab for the 10 points (a helpful
way to get to a 100 points by using easier missions with lower points).
It's also the only way to score points in combat. No requirements besides
having a Klingon, so it's easy as can be (though perhaps a bit costlier),
and it monopolizes on Klingons' favored attributes, Strength and Weapons.
Koloth can download an Assault card if Kor or Kang is in play, and Kang
can download a K'Vort, so using the card to begin an engagement could be
a natural for that download chain. No special bonuses for battling, but
points and flexibility are great: a 4.2.
1E STOCKABILITY: Since Klingons can initiate battle at will, this will have to be used to score points when they win one. 10 points is an excellent booty, limited only by Intermix Ratio, The Big Picture, and such. Much easier to use than something like Klingon Civil War (though perhaps not as easy as Arbiter of Succession), this is a cool addition to your Klingon battle deck with most of the tricks of the 2E environment (Koloth is backwards-compatible though Kang is not). It also allows you to attack without a leader AND do so even if you have a mixed crew, which would otherwise keep you from doing it. Excellent news for Treaty and Micro-Wormhole users. Theoretically, the ECH could download it as a Maneuver, but you'd have to be in Treaty mode. In 1E, it comes off as a non-essential but excellent benny at 4.2 too.
TOTAL: 16.2 (81%) There's a definite chance for glory here.
1E TOTAL: 15.8 (79%) Not exactly shameful either.
PICTURE: Young Shinzon looks adorable here, and certainly vulnerable next to that big guard and his white baton. Composition makes the eye jump from one figure to the other, creating tension. A good 3.4.
LORE: The quote from Sinzon sets up the danger, though it's not clear how it translates to what an Away Team would face, being so specific to the pictured boy's situation. Really, only the last sentence would apply to the game text. Oh, and an evocative title. That's 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Basically makes the planet's inhabitants highly treacherous and brutal. If you don't have Treachery, you don't fit in, for one thing, and for another, are ill-equipped to make the necessary decisions to complete your mission, so unethical these are. This translates as a -1 to all attributes. How exactly? Maybe you're entering gray areas morally, forcing your Integrity down. Cunning goes down by virtue of being a fish out of water. And perhaps the Strength goes down because the world in so inherently brutal, a personnel that isn't as much of a brute seems weak in comparison (keeps pulling his punches when no one else does, for example). There's only one incident dealing with the place's brutality/cruelty, apparently, because the dilemma is overcome at the end of the turn, whether the mission is completed or not. The personnel adjust? That must be it, cuz I can't see those Romulan guards (or whoever) suddenly turning all sun and smiles. Of course, you might say adjusting would keep their Integrity down, and I wouldn't argue with you much. I don't see much of a problem with putting brutal people on otherwise "nice" worlds, since the brutality might come from the proverbial "den of thieves", not from the general population. Has some plot holes, but it's good enough for a 4.
STOCKABILITY: A Cost of 2 is pretty reasonable for this dilemma that hits almost every time. Of course, it's no killer. It could set up an Away Team for failure though. All non-Treachery personnel are all attributes -1 for the rest of the attempt. Attributes being more important than they used to be, this could mean an Away Team would come up short perhaps by only a point or two every time. And it doesn't discriminate: A mission may require Integrity, Cunning or Strength, but the minuses are in each one. It should be the first one encountered too, because it might cause a couple other dilemmas to hit more efficiently. Armus Roulette, Hunter Gangs, Trabe Grenade and more sound like pretty good follow-up dilemmas. Of course, the whole thing kinda hinges on the number of Treachery personnel in any given Away Team. Well, Treachery's a good skill (Shady Resources, No Peace in Our Time, the load of dilemmas and missions that require it), so it'll usually be present in some quantity, but the Bajorans and Federation don't have very much to spare. They're the most likely targets. Klingons don't have many, but enough to count. Cardassians and Romulans shouldn't have much trouble with this dilemma. Plenty of Non-Aligneds can help any affiliation of course. You might rather want to go for more powerful killers, but think big picture. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) 2E's doing reasonably well up til now.
PICTURE: Though the tiles follow Data's form to create a good composition, the purple costume looks terrible. So much empty space too... I've just never liked TNG's purple-gray-beige color palette. It's so plain. A somewhat boring 2.7.
LORE: The title is much too poetic for the rest of the card, while the words spoken by Fajo are a little clearer about what kind of "punishment" this is. Unfortunately, they don't really match the game text, and finding the exact right quote shouldn't have been too hard. Sorry, a slightly off 2.8.
TREK SENSE: If this is meant to be a "Punishment", then you really gotta force a captive to sit around and entertain. Unfortunately, the effect seems to be more about how valuable the captive is, and rewarding the captor for having kidnapped him or her than really punishing the captive. I mean, nothing happens to the personnel, so I hardly see how it could be a punishment of any sort. Card draws are inherently troublesome when it comes to Trek Sense because the draw might be anything. Data, in the pictured example, is his own reward. He didn't allow Fajo to "get a card draw" (whatever that may mean). Maybe a drawn personnel or ship could be attracted to view the captive, or unseen visitors might pay for the privilege of seeing him or her. That's not bad, but it asks a couple questions: Is every captive really that valuable? Even non-uniques? And hey, each and every captive is this valuable, one after the other! And furthermore, why is the card only drawn upon the captive being placed into the brig when indeed, people would only come to check it out later? Or are you maybe selling them to a Fajo-type, so getting reward money at that point? If so, why still be able to dole out other punishment? As to the cost, 1 is balanced within the game, but perhaps not that appropriate from a Trek Sense point of view: If this Treasure truly is Beyond Compare, then acquiring it should tie up more resources. I'm afraid this is one card that suffers from very mechanical and generic wording. Can't go over 1.6.
STOCKABILITY: A cheap Punishment card (though less so than Interrupts), whether you download it with Madred - Calculating Captor or not. Since it doesn't really do anything to the captive, it's a good one to use before trying anything else. You use it as the personnel is placed in the brig, and you get a card draw. Simple as that. And so for a cost of 1, you get as many card draws as you get captives. Get more than one though, or else you might as well use that point to actually buy a card draw. Nothing captures more than one personnel at a time, but Cardassian decks can easily be dedicated to the activity to make the use of this worthwhile. Get paid for doing what comes naturally. And it's cumulative too, only regulated by the number of copies you can put in your deck. Gonna go with a 3.6.
TOTAL: 10.7 (53.5%) Not much of a treasure after all.
PICTURE: We're unlikely to see actual shuttle cards in 2E, so Geordi's from "The Mind's Eye" is welcome in that sense. It's the object of the mission, if not really grounded in a specific place. Details show up well despite the simplicity of design, the ship's position is dynamic and looks to be angling away from the would-be abductor, and we didn't actually get a shuttlepod like this in any 1E pics that I recall. Note that attemptability icons are much nicer now than they used to be. You'll think it's high for a box on skis, but 3.6.
LORE: Looks good enough, but if this is meant to represent "The Mind's Eye", I'm afraid Geordi was not taking shore leave, but actually going to a conference. Same difference for him? Easily said, but the lore isn't that cheeky. Not only dull (which is expected of missions), but not quite correct. If you forget the pic, then O'Brien's capture in "Tribunal" might do the trick, except it's the wrong location. Just a 2.
TREK SENSE: Though based on a Romulan plot, the Cardassians and Dominion
are both in the business of kidnapping opposing officers for various purposes.
In fact, those two probably do it more often than the Romulans. You need
to be Treacherous to do this kind of thing, that's for sure. Transporters
must be used to grab the personnel off its ship (maybe through Shields).
I think it's always fair to require the skill when the subject doesn't
want to be beamed. All 2E missions have an attribute requirement, which
I'll refer to as the "controlling attribute", i.e. which of the three is
the most important to the mission. Here, there's only one character to
kidnap, so Strength isn't much of an issue. Plotting requires Cunning.
At >34, I'd call that high average, which makes sense to me. You also need
one of 2 possible combos. The first is Intelligence and Leadership: These
kinds of plans are often carried out by Intel agencies, but you still need
a Leader to coordinate the effort or at least authorize it. The second
is Officer and Law, making the abduction more legal (by these bad guys'
standards). Points and Span are fine, no real comment there. I will comment,
however, on the lack of Starfleet personnel actually captured at this mission.
It's unfortunately all off-stage. What if there actually were a Federation
ship present? If no personnel card is taken (it can't be a shuttlepod after
all), why isn't the mission stonewalled. It's not like a starship would
let it happen. Of course, Kivas Fajo was able to kidnap Data under the
Enterprise's very nose, so it's a pretty small issue. Overall, it
does pretty well for itself. A 3.8.
1E TREK SENSE: Not much of a difference. The only real issue is that it's not part of a Risa region, though "deep space" may be far enough away to not be included (tell that to the Neutral Zone). That small difference makes the score go down to 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: While Treachery is pretty common in these affiliations
(Cardassians and Romulans, since the Dominion hasn't made it yet to 2E,
though I'm sure they'll have enough), Transporters are much less so. Similarly,
Law's a fairly rare skill (though Officer's common), so I estimate Intelligence/Leadership
is going to to be the most often used (the Romulans might have a 50/50
chance with either however). At 35 points, the high average, I wish the
skills weren't that uncommon, especially Transporters. Cunning is usually
high on the solving affiliations, so no problem there, but again, it's
a high number to reach. The choice between a couple combos helps against
dilemmas that weed out certain skills, but Leadership and Officer are often
on the same list (Command Decisions, Personal Duty). Best personnel to
solve with? Lemec (Cardassian) maybe? Best planetary partner for this mission,
as far as skill redundancy goes, would be Cargo Rendezvous (for the Romulans).
Not a big one, but for the mentioned affiliations who are going to have
plenty of Treachery and/or Intelligence anyway, could be a good one. 3.4
1E STOCKABILITY: 2E missions all have attribute requirements that make them inherently harder to adress than 1E missions with similar points, but the skills are distributed about the same. That is to say that Transporter Skill, Law and "Intelligence" are still fairly rare, while Treachery and OFFICER/Leadership definitely aren't. The Dominion is alive and well in 1E, and has more Transporter Skill than most, though Intelligence is inexistent and Law rarer. No outstanding solvers in this edition. So, better or worse than in 2E? Worse in that the Cunning requirement could be a pain. Better, in that 1) there's an extra affiliation you could use it with; and 2) the Romulans can boost its points with a couple of mission specialists. Better, and thus a 3.7.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) Not an amazing score for the fledgeling 2nd edition.
1E TOTAL: 13 (65%) Then again, there's hope yet for backwards compatibility ;-).
PICTURE: The sandswept planet is no more interesting than its 1E clone, which gathered a 2 in this category, but the 2E layout makes for a more attractive frame, what with the embossed attemptability icons and red Quadrant icon. 2.1 then.
LORE: A little longer than its 1E counterpart, it gives a more complete picture of where the information actually is, i.e. not on the station per se, but being relayed by it. Still a plain jane at 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Though the original got a 4.8 in Trek Sense, I think I was still developping my scoring policies at this point, Rolodex #11, because I really wouldn't go that high today. The requirements here are very close, with 2 Programming replacing Computer Skill x2 quite naturally, needed to gain access to the automated station's information, and the same amount of Cunning, though with 2E's new scale, it actually represents more Cunning. Cunning's a natural controlling attribute here, and with the station having all-new, all-different Dominion technology to muddle through, the high end of average (35+) checks out. Engineer and Officer are here again, one very technical, the other for authorizing this intrusion on enemy space. That authorization could come from Intelligence instead, and Security could take care of gaining access instead of Engineer. Different path, same destination. In fact, Science was the one on the original that made the least sense, and it's gone. The Bajorans are added as a viable attempting affiliation, which is fine given their proximity to the Wormhole and association with the (DS9) Feds. 35 points is okay for this fact-finding, but dangerous, mission. Span has to be examined a little differently in 2E, and being an intermitent point between systems (a relay station), a short 2 is fine. It doesn't quite mesh with the original's long 5, but either version can be defended. As with the original, I will note that the lack of actual information on the Dominion is saddening, but I guess the points'll have to do (not like there's a Dominion yet). A more correct score for this one would be 4.5, even if it's technically better than 1E's.
SEEDABILITY: Each of the currently available affiliations can attempt this one, and the Federation and Bajorans are perhaps the better equipped Programming-wise, with Data (Aspirer) the very best personnel to attempt this with (2 Programming, Officer, Engineer and top Cunning). In any case, Intelligence/Security is a natural combo, especially for more nefarious affiliations. Officer/Engineer isn't so rare either. So not hard, and not a bad payoff. The Span of 2 isn't too bad if you have to go cross-quadrant for it. In fact, if on a low Span already, most ships will be able to get there (just +4 from where you are). Of course, at the Mouth of the Wormhole, it's just 3 away, no fuss. Gamma Quadrant missions may, in some cases, prevent an opponent from Rendering Assistance, depending on their ships' locations, but with that short 2... I dunno. Viable, open to all... I'm gonna say 3.6.
TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) Don't want to compare it to the original because of the wildly varying scoring system. I didn't know WHAT I was doing!
PICTURE: That nice new template actually goes well with Jared's pic. Appropriately ornate, I'd say. The blue costume nicely contrasts with the gold card too. On the flipside, he's a bit off-center, the background is too dark and empty, and he's an uninteresting milktoast. If I look hard enough, I can tell Ardra's cost him some sleepless nights, but can't really call this more than 2.9.
LORE: A combination of standard lore and quote, we get a nice bit about Ventaxian history, central to "The Devil's Due", and a less interesting line from Jared on the subject. The whole thing says more about Ardra than it does about Acost Jared here. No more than 2.5.
TREK SENSE: I don't dispute that Jared would be Non-Aligned, but I'm
not sure he's a reasonable choice for a personnel card. Personnel should
be able to act as crew in at least SOME capacity, but I never got the feeling
that Ventaxians ever left their homeworld, and one of their heads of state
even less. And his being non-unique is even more ridiculous, because now
we have a number of "typical" Ventaxian officials leaving home and serving
aboard Federation, even Klingon ships. While we're on the issue, I recognize
that all non-unique 3-skill personnel are gonna cost just 1 point, but
in Trek Sense, we have to consider how much energy would be expended to
have this guy available. With all the trouble mentioned above, I'm afraid
it would take more than 1 just to CONVINCE him to tag along on missions.
As for the skills, he's a head of state, so Leadership makes sense. Anthropology
imbues him with the knowledge of Ardra's original visit. And Law helps
him read her contract, and manage the little show trial that's at the center
of the episode. You can tell he's the kind of guy that follows the rules,
but his lack of courage makes his Integrity only average. All his attributes
are average 5s, in fact. That may be a little too high on the Strength-meter
though. Overall, the skills are fine, but the rest is suspicious. A 2.3.
1E TREK SENSE: Forget what I said about the point cost, but the big problem here is that 1) he's no VIP, and 2) the new attributes scale makes him too low on Integrity and Cunning, and still too high on Strength. I'm afraid that's actually a drop to a simple 2.
STOCKABILITY: 1 point, 3 skills, no special text, non-unique... we've
got lots of these, and I call them "skill support". They cheaply fill whatever
holes you have. And being Non-Aligned, anyone could conceivably use him.
So how useful ARE those 3 skills of his? Anthropology/Law is actually a
fairly common combo, in particular on other skill support like Brilgar
and Seth Mendoza. Anthropology/Leadership, for its part, at least allows
you to use Sermon to delay an Event, and are two skills that can be found
together on dilemmas (once on Primitive Culture, twice on Aggressive Behavior).
Leadership is also useful to begin engagements (Brutal Struggle, Cry "Havok!",
Pierce Their Defense, Point Blank Strike and Precise Attack). Of course,
there are TONS of Leadership personnel. Anthropology and Law aren't as
common, though not particularly rare either. Turns out Leadership and Anthropology
are on many missions and dilemmas, while Law doesn't show up as often (only
1 dilemma to date). He's cheap, but there are other cheap sources of these
skills for most affiliations. A 3.2.
1E STOCKABILITY: Throw him in a pool with a lot more personnel, in an environment where 3 skills is actually less useful than 1 or 2, and without a classification to boot, that score is gonna take a dive. Add some lame attributes, and the semi-rare Law isn't gonna make it rise too much. All good skills though, no useless fluff (which VIP might have been). Still can't quite say there's a reason to include him in a deck, so 2.5.
TOTAL: 10.9 (54.5%) First personnel in the Edition turns out to be a
turkey (as well as a chicken).
1E TOTAL: 9.9 (49.5%) A full point less.
PICTURE: Same as the 1E version, but doesn't quite have the same effect. For one thing, it's disappointing that it's a repeat. Bajor VIII in the corner could have been mighty cool, for example (it was on the show!). The Cha'Joh looks good, but is really small. In 1E, the image was a "bleed", but here there is a frame. That frame gives us a point of reference for the object pictured that we didn't have before, and the illusion is that the image appears emptier than it used to. I like the waiting rendezvous still, but I'm only up for a 3.5.
LORE: Same as it was except for one little thing, and that's the exact location of the rendezvous. Where it used to say "Bajor System", it now says "Near Bajor VIII". Again, it's a little dull that the rest was reprinted, but there was nothing wrong with the original lore. The way the Klingons are mentioned, it's clear they don't belong as an attempting affiliation. Remains a 3.5.
TREK SENSE: This is one mission that had to change, because requirements like Civilian and Smuggling don't exist anymore. Physics is still there, helping make sure the bilitrium is real. We need Treachery because it's a plot to destroy the Wormhole. Cunning is the controlling attribute, and it's a Cunning in the "ruse" sense of the word. The last requirement ties in with Physics, but neither option is very convincing. Engineer could be useful in building a bomb with the bilitrium, but that seems to go well beyond the lore's mission goals (and would you build the bomb right there at the rendezvous point?). Astrometrics is another kind of Physics (containing Astrophysics), and I suppose it has something to do with Womrhole physics. The same affiliations are elligible, which is fine. The Bajorans want the explosives to collapse the Wormhole and send the Feds and Cardies away, the Cardassians want to supply them with bombs to spark a civil war and also get the Feds out of there, and the Ferengi are the perfect middle-men, not caring who gets hurt. Changes were issued for both Span and points, and I agree with them. Being in-region, the Span shouldn't be as long as it was (Bajor VIII is a moon of Bajor, not another planet), and the plot is daring enough for more points (plus, it's harder now). Loss or gain? I'm afraid the the requirements are the main point here, and they're not as good. Still a 3.5.
SEEDABILITY: Ferengi aren't really a concern right now, but the Bajorans can easily stock this mission in their homeworld's region, avoiding the problems associated with their slower ships. Physics and Engineer tend to appear in the same skill lists, but a Trazko could supply both Treachery and Astrometrics. Note that DSNiners would have more flexibility and the same incentives to use this mission. The Cardassians have an easier time of reporting a Treachery personnel, though their scientific skills aren't often on the same personnel. Enabran Tain (Engineer) and Rogesh (Physics) spring to mind here. 30 points is okay without being sensational. Currently, it's the only mission in the Bajor region, so it gets points for that. The next one we get will probably be a planet mission anyway, so it won't quickly lose its place in Bajoran system decks. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) Man, all 3.5s. I sound like a broken record.
PICTURE: Sharp, clear and detailed, this is the sort of stuff I wanted to see out of 2E. I thought 1E's version of this card had a pretty terrible pic, but this one's great. Voyager is dwarfed by the big space slug, and the environment is alien and dangerous. The slug almost looks like it has an eye here, an interesting if silly illusion. I'd say the wider screen allows for more impressive compositions. It's a 4.2.
LORE: They went and found a quote that describes the Aggressive Behavior, and it works out fine. It's also funnier than the original's, introducing the idea of mating with the ship. A good 3.4.
TREK SENSE: A reworked version of the original, it has similar requirements and a similar effect, but different, of course. 2 Anthropology is still an option, and that's the one I wasn't sure about with the Voyager version. The slugs didn't seem sentient to me, and I felt Exobiology was the more appropriate skill. Anthropology is about cultural behavior, not instinctive, animal behavior. The second option requires plenty of Leadership and some good Weapons: we're fighting back! The military solution requires plenty of guns because the slugs are tough, and enough Leadership to coordinate such an effort on multiple creatures. If the slugs aren't killed or escaped from, the ship is damaged (all attributes, pretty much in keeping with dilemma damage), one crew member is killed, and the rest are stopped as they try to find their way back to their seats (remember: no seat-belts on starships). The Cost of a dilemma is what I call its Danger Level. At 4, it's pretty high, accounting for ship damage, crew stoppage and a personnel kill. Seeing as the slugs occupied the Voyager crew for the whole of an episode (they WERE distracted by Kes' Elogium, but we all have our bad days), it's appropriate that it would take away considerably from the total number of dilemmas. Better than it was, with just the Anthro situation: a 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: Yes, it costs a lot, but it's a good final dilemma to drop on a crew. If the requirements aren't met, it stops the crew (stopping the mission attempt), kills one personnel, AND damages the ship (-2 every attribute is standard for dilemmas). It all boils down to the requirements, doesn't it? 2 Leadership is incredibly easy to come up with, but Weapons greater than 8? Bajorans can't do it without some kind of boost. Cardassians have the Keldon (and the Reklar simply needs a captive). The Feds have the USS Akira, USS Defiant, USS Enterprise-E and USS Sovereign (still the best mission solvers, eh?). The Klingons have the IKS Maht-H'a and IKS Vor'Cha. And the Romulans, for their part, have the D'deridex, Deranas, Haakona, Scimitar and Valdore. The dilemma will hose players using smaller, less costly ships, but the big mother ships are pretty much immune UNLESS they've been hit with damage from another dilemma (or battle) before this point in time (the usual cost for those is 3). As for the Anthropology option, it's a common enough skill, and very much in demand when it comes to dilemmas. You'll have to weed those personnel out early. Antedean Assassins does target one specifically, but opponent's choice killer/stoppers are probably better (like Assassin's Blade). Reasonably balanced, but it makes it less of a sure-shot. Still, no one's forcing you to drop it on a crew when the circumstances aren't right. A 4.2.
TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) 1E's version only got 10.8.
PICTURE: With that smile, you don't know if you can trust him, which captures the character well enough. Less of a broad-shouldered look in 2E (good), but the hairpiece looks more fake thanks to shadow under the sideburn (bad). Background's dull, but does manage to throw in a little green. A personable 3.5.
LORE: The subtitle is pulled from the 1E version of the card (the first two words), and here I was, not very attached to it. Ah well. The quote is a good piece of writing, noble, but a little cheesy. It attempts to explain why his ability goes up against his own affiliation, even if it doesn't say how (you must have seen the episode or guessed from the game text). 3.5 again.
TREK SENSE: A Romulan Admiral would be an Officer with Leadership and
a Command icon, most certainly, whether you understand Romulan ranks or
not (I have a little trouble myself). Alidar needs Navigation to get himself
across the border, and I guess Security too. That last skill also gives
him the kind of access to information he would later try to sell to the
Federation. Of course that was all disinformation, but it's hard to get
around the Tal Shiar. And that's where the special ability fails to mimic
reality. In the game universe, he invariably succeeds in spying on a Romulan
player (of another faction, one opposed to your guy's views, or apparently,
even yours). Perhaps the fact that you can't count on a Romulan opponent
creates the risk of being disinformed, if you want to see it that way.
I might have kept such an ability for a Federation-aligned Alidar Jarok
(or a Non-Aligned one) who had defected from the Romulan Empire. I know
he's working for what he sees as Romulus, but he's still going against
the government. His Integrity makes him able to commit treasonous acts
for what he sees as honorable reasons (think Leyton, Damar and many Gatherers).
He has the same Cunning exhibited by many main characters (Sisko, Picard
and others) and would have needed that amount to get to his position, yet
it's not on par with brilliant scientific minds. He got fed a line of bull,
so they could have dropped it some more. Strength is perhaps a bit low
for a Romulan. They're naturally stronger than humans, and he came up through
the military. Advanced years make this possible, it's an ok average after
all (Janeway, Bareil), but unlikely. A final word on Cost. In game balance,
it has to do with usefulness/power. In Trek Sense, we look at how many
resources should be applied to get that character "in the field". As a
Romulan leader, it shouldn't be too hard. He seemed to be at the center
of many operations. A Federation version would cost more, I think, but
2 is ok here. For the score, more than 2: a 3.3 in fact.
1E TREK SENSE: The first Alidar Jarok wasn't very good (a support personnel Admiral, questionable attributes and missing skills), so this one is better in most spots. The addition of Security is a plus, and the Integrity is a little more believable than that 2. It's still a bit low (equal to Founder infiltrators), and now the Cunning is too. 6 is dumb in 1st Edition. The same can be said of Strength: if it was too low in 2E, it's even more so now. A note to add on the special skill: It's now more possible for Jarok to spy on an opponent who has one Romulan card out, but is otherwise using another affiliation, since 1E plays more fast and loose with Treaties and other means of getting cards together. A few decimals come off there too. In 1E, a 2.9.
STOCKABILITY: Officer and Leadership are by no means rare in the Romulan
Star Empire, but that last skill is required of almost any card that allows
you to initiate battle. Having it around is primordial. Navigation and
Security occur less frequently,. but still in good numbers. That last skill
in fact appears on quite a few dilemmas. Commanding a Romulan Security
personnel also allows you to play Tactical Planning (a card manipulator).
His special skill will come in handy if you have a Romulan opponent (or
more, isn't multi-player grand?), but only when you play him. If it works,
you get to see the top 4 cards of a deck. That's not a bad tip, though
a download would mix them up again. You'd still know something of your
opponent's strategy I suppose. As a Leadership Romulan, Peacemaker or Predator?
does the same thing to ANY opponent with him supporting the peeking of
one card. On thing P or P won't do is peek at your own deck, which is what
Alidar Jarok can do regardless of who else is using Romulans. That can
be useful in determining your short-term strategy. Good missions for him:
Investigate Coup for which he has all the skills (all you need now is the
Strength) and Military Exercises. The Admiral key word does nothing for
now. The attributes are pretty average. Good thing he's cheap, because
he's not too strong. A 3.7.
1E STOCKABILITY: You can use Assign Support Personnel to report Alidar Jarok easily, then switch him to the Conscientious Admiral who has more skills (dual-classification even) and a special skill. The attributes are pretty atrocious though. The special skill, as with 2E, will only work against a player with Romulan cards (and yourself), but unlike 2E, that could happen much more easily. Temporal Micro-Wormhole even makes it easier for Dr. Telek R'Mor to be in play. There are more opponent's deck manipulation cards in 1st Edition, so knowing your opponent's cards is more useful. You could recall an AU ship he was on with Space-Time Portal to report him again and again each time you need to peek. He still reports for free to Office of the Proconsul and downloads through Going to the Top, of course. Hey listen, this Jarok gets 3.9.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) The first 2E Romulan is ok, but not spectacular.
1E TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Almost in line with the 2E score.
PICTURE: The set is kind of spartan, and the purplish, cranberry haze is part of a displeasing light spectrum as far as I'm concerned (muddles the image), but the hooded figure is appropriately creepy, and the linework creates an uneasy composition. A 3.3.
LORE: Again, creepy enough, and the way it's been designed, it could be the soliton alien saying this stuff to the victim. The nightmarish biopsy is well related, so I'm going with a 4.1.
TREK SENSE: Not much survived from the original 1E version, and we have to be glad for it. It had real problems. Here, finally, Alien Abduction becomes the space dilemma it was on the show. They're still taking 3 personnel from the ship, but since they always return them, that just makes them stopped (i.e. unavailable for the mission at that time). There's no reason to actually capture them for any length of time. How do you stop these abductions from a soliton-based subspace domain? Well, a couple of Engineers and Physics can help you prevent the aliens from opening gateways between their domain and yours, sensibly enough. The alternate requirements aren't as clear, but they work. Transporters keeps a lock on potential victims, transporting them at the point of capture, and Medical could be used, like on the show, to keep victims awake and able to escape. Combining the two creates a scenario where your personnel might stop the aliens once and for all, but anything as proactive as Riker's plan in "Schisms" would require at least one personnel to still be stopped. So perhaps the two skills are enough to just avoid capture. What's really missing is the snowball effect: At the beginning, victims were returned essentially unharmed, and the "danger level" of 1 makes sense, but they didn't stop there. 3 personnel were stopped every night until the experiments started getting deadlier. The card gives us the start of the dilemma, but never the end. What's here is vastly superior to 1E's Alien Abduction, but it's still not perfect. A 4 should do.
STOCKABILITY: A cheap dilemma with nonetheless some pretty good requirements, and though it doesn't kill, it does stop 3 personnel. That sends the rest of the personnel into the arms of your next dilemma with 3 people missing! And once you see who's been filtered out, you can better choose what to punish them with. Engineer or Medical isn't too rare, of course, but Physics is a little more so, and Transporters much more so. Skill commonality remains the biggest hurdle to using this dilemma effectively, but you could lead with an Engineer stopper like Debris Field or a Medical stopper like Contamination, depending on the crew's make-up. By then you've spent 3 points on dilemmas, so make the next dilemma a good one. As a fine dilemma workhorse, I'll spare a 3.5.
TOTAL: 14.9 (74.5%) Excellent redesign of a flawed card.
PICTURE: I like equipment to be used in the pic, to be part of some kind of story rather than be a boring old prop shot. The Gambling Device doesn't disappoint. Martus is looking at a result, his back against the wall, with the rest of the space taken up by colored architecture (fills out the frame nicely). Nothing too impressive, but way more interesting to look at than the extreme close-up of the first edition's AGD. A 3.3.
LORE: Directly relating to the gadget's effects, I can't find anything wrong with this quote. The culprits are in the pic if you're looking for them. A 3.3.
TREK SENSE: First off, I like the former Artifacts as Equipment now. It makes more sense, and in the case of one-of-a-kind items, they can always slap the unique dot on there. In the case of the Alien Gambling Device, it was never really an Artifact in the proper sense of the word, was it? Ok, it's a powerful little widget, and certainly rare (unless replicated), so a Cost of 5 makes absolute sense. Its probability-twisting is represented by a re-selection of one random selection per turn at its location. You might get a better result or a worse one, perfectly in line with the real thing, though it doesn't really make the highly improbable happen. We can always imagine a dilemma going after one personnel, then improbably boucing off a styrofoam boulder and at another selectee, sure. Somebody's good luck is someone else's bad. Note that multiple AGDs at the same will help more than one personnel, just like in "Rivals". Good, but can't possibly have the same breadth as on the show, so a 3.3. Again? What were the chances?
STOCKABILITY: Costly, but this piece of Equipment could potentially save your most important personnel from death or capture at the hands of some Dilemma, fighting-oriented Event, or Interrupt (like Arrest Order). For the Romulans, Twist of Fate can give you yet another chance, but for most, it's once per turn and that's it. In other words, if you save an average personnel, you risk the chance of having a better one be hit, and there's no getting out of it. The way around that is multiple AGDs, but you're looking at a hefty price tag there. Of course, all random selections don't automatically kill or capture your personnel. Some merely stop, and only hit if a certain condition is met. For example, A Klingon Matter (which just came out) won't kill and stop if the random selection has more than 6 Strength. If you have strong personnel in your crew and they aren't chosen, AGD gives you a second chance. There are many such examples. Alternately, you can lurk at your opponent's missions and if a dilemma's random selection isn't to your liking given the other dilemmas you've drawn, make a change! The trick is even more obvious in battle. And it need not be attended: just drop the thing on any old planet, and you can play with probablities without getting in harm's way. But a Cost of 5? Eeeech, that's still pricey. Its defensive AND offensive uses do make it good enough for a 4.1. though.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) And you thought I was gonna go with 3.3 all the way? Ahh, fickle fate.
PICTURE: TNG video footage must be showing its age, because cards with TNG elements regularly show have blur than more recent shows. That's the case here, but in addition, I don't think it illustrates the concept very well. I mean, this is where the quote is pulled from, but aside from that... The subject matter is dull, and the composition clunky. A 1.4 for some tension coming out of the two characters.
LORE: Gets at the card's title, if not exacly its game text. It's not bad, but not great either, and I sort of dislike the title's repetition in the quote. An average 2.5.
TREK SENSE: The card is supposed to correspond to a Romulan throwing off one identity to take on another, either revealing their true self, or hiding behind an assumed i.d. Now, this isn't something only the Romulans would do, but it's part of their underhanded theme. This would have been a nice way to do persona replacement, but unfortunately, Sela can turn out to be Shinzon or The Viceroy. Star Trek doesn't quite support such drastic plastic surgery, I don't think (please, don't remind me of Lumba), certainly not at Interrupt speed. There's also something strange about not being able to assume an identity again. With the first i.d. going into the discard pile, there's no going back. I'm afraid this one just doesn't work. Barely hits 1.3.
STOCKABILITY: Need one Romulan, but he or she is stuck in your hand? Switch them at the cost of the replaced personnel. This will get you a personnel to the right spot at the right time, rather than at the HQ waiting for a drive. This is good for the Romulans because many either have or allow (with other cards) effects that disrupt their opponents. They tend to lurk at opposing locations. Now, there's not that much flexibility since you have to do this during the Order phase, but the best use for it is getting expensive personnel in play for the cost of a cheap one. You could replace Jorvas with Lovok, for example. That saves you 3 points to put into something else. The real cost is 2 card slots: one for the personnel discarded and one for Alternate Identity. One special trick involves Tal'Aura. She can be returned to hand to kill a personnel. Do so, then replace her back in play to kill again, and again, and again... Worth 3.8.
TOTAL: 9 (45%) A real low score in 2E (below 10)? It had to happen some day.
PICTURE: Decipher's generally done a good job with the Deep Space 9 universa... hum... non-unique personnel over the years. For the most part, they've been consistently seen extras, often being in the background for a season or more. Altman here appears throughout the second season and perhaps beyond. These characters are nobody to the common viewer, but to players like us, it's like we know everybody on the station. Altman's pic is from "The Siege", although a little CGI has cut'n'pasted her over a background from earlier in the scene in order to weed out the rest of the crowd. The scene actually establishes a little something about her which we'll get too soon enough. First Fed card, so I might mention I like the "saucer section" template under the skills. Might as well. As for the aesthetics of the pic itself: slight blur, near seamless paste job, ok bronze and silver palette, weird hairstyle (anything to keep your eyes on the female leads as the expense of the extras... except for the dabo girls). Good choices, but ultimately a boring pic. I can spare 3.1.
LORE: That her name was taken from a character in the movie Panic Room is unremarkable, but the fact that many non-unique personnel's names come from David Fincher movies (collect them all!) counts for something. I also like the way they've gone on the lore, giving us absolutely no information specific to this dialogueless character. It makes her universal without having to mention it. Plus, it's an interesting facet of working on DS9. Again, good choices. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: With gender issues out of the way, non-uniques do a better
job of representing a segment of the crew than 1E's universals ever did.
Altman, for her part, represents Human Engineers on Deep Space 9. She obviously
needs Engineer and a DS9 icon and is Staff level. Technology integration
has to inspire the rest of the skills. The Transporters on DS9 were Cardassian
(by their effect), so they presumably had to interface with Federation
systems brought on the station to replace what the Cardies gutted. Biology
though... I don't remember any gel packs on DS9, or any other bio-technology.
Altman was mostly seen in Ops (where there IS a transporter pad), so we
can't really pin medical equipment repair on her. Vole hunting maybe? If
we take 5 to be an average attribute, it makes sense that's what she scores
in both Cunning and Strength. If she had more Cunning, she'd be more remarkable.
Her Strength is that of a personnel who has had combat training, but probably
wouldn't be very effective in a fight. Integrity is a little better than
average because she was one of those willing to stay behind and defend
the station during the siege by the Circle. Cost is standard for "weenies",
which is fine since they're a dime a dozen. So there's that Biology that
nags at me, otherwise, very good: a 3.8.
1E TREK SENSE: It is perhaps odd that 2E personnel don't have a classification, yet they usually do, in the form of a skill. Not normally a problem, but it does make them butterfingers when trying to use some equipment, etc. Attributes are also a concern, with Integrity and Cunning being way too low for her attitude and role on the station. Modifies the score to a 2.8.
STOCKABILITY: With their Cost of 1 and usually at least 3 skills each,
so called "weenies" can either support a deck easily (reporting using your
left-over points) or have a deck based around them (tons of personnel and
skills at low costs for strict mission solving). Special abilities are
great, but they're not necessary to win a game. DS9 personnel further can
work with 2 possible "affiliations": DS9 Feds from Earth and DS9 personnel
from the station. As to her specific skills, Biology and Transporters aren't
too useful against dilemmas yet, but are on many missions. Engineer is
good for both dilemmas and missions, and is also required for other cards
like Back-Flush Bussard Collectors, Power to the Shields and Quantum Slipstream
Drive. And she's not too redundant. In her affiliations, only Anara comes
too close to comfort, and she actually has weaker attributes. With Energize,
weenie decks are becoming more vulnerable, but for now, there's enough
for a 3.4.
1E STOCKABILITY: I'm not sure they should have made Cost: 1 personnel backwards-compatible. Altman comes off as a Support Personnel who can't use the relevant Assign card OR Engineer as true classification. And her attributes are quite low to boot. On the upside, her skills are more in demand in the 1E environment, and Biology's an odd (thus useful) fit on an Engineer, but I'm just trying to be nice at this point. No more than a 1.5.
TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) "Weenie" isn't such a pejorative word after all.
1E TOTAL: 10.9 (54.5%) Taking out the Cost factor can scuttle a card.
PICTURE: Though the pic is oddly exposed (especially the background) and it's not actually Altovar, but the "AU" version of him inside Bashir's mind (representing the telepathic damage), I like this one. I guess it's the evil grin that gets me. Nasty with a lot of attitude. Despite its problems, I can see myself giving it a good 3.5.
LORE: Again, the quote comes from the telepathic damage/Garak/Altovar inside Bashir's mind, but it works in the context of his special ability. Nasty with a lot of attitude. A 3.5 again.
TREK SENSE: Altovar is a Thief all right, a Thief that specializes in
medical products. Enough to warrant the Medical skill? Sure. The 1E version
of Altovar had Medical as a classification, and I objected, but that's
because classifications indicate a specific identity too strongly. No such
problem here. Exobiology also helps with finding biomimetic gel and such.
He has Telepathic powers, sure enough. And where he used to have Greed
(not a skill in 2E, which would consider it more of an attitude now), he
has 2 Treachery. Stealing and killing, probably manufacting biological
weapons... oh yeah. Knowing his way around a sickbay seems to get him the
Staff icon. The special ability has him attacking a Medical present telepathically,
which keeps to the source episode a bit too closely. After all, couldn't
he attack someone other than a Medical? Well, that's where his interests
lie, I guess. But his murder is also destined to fail. How so? Well, the
doctor doesn't die, he's simply sent back to hand. This replaces being
disabled or put in stasis in 2E: the personnel is out of action for a short
while - basically until it can be reported again (or resources can be spent
to make it well and then report it, if we read the points system correctly).
It's just that Bashir was extremely lucky (or extremely enhanced genetically,
cough, cough) to survive, according to the episode. After the attempted
murder, Altovar has to go into hiding, also returning to hand. He could
be detained by the authorities, but he isn't captured here. So maybe he
lies low. I really don't know where he runs off to. He doesn't even get
to steal any medical stuff either. Like I said, it happens like this in
the episode, but it seems unfair that he would always "fail" in this fashion.
Attributes seem fair enough, with Integrity being low enough for his Treachery.
Cunning is average (I think that's what 5 means) - he knew something about
the medical field, but was brutish and obvious enough to get caught (could
explain why he's such a failure). Strength is a bit better than average,
which is a fix from the rather low score he got in 1E. I always thought
of him as rather formidable physically, even if he was likely untrained
in personal combat. As for the Cost, a 2 works for me. Mercenary types
shouldn't be too hard to get a hold of (it would be bad for business),
but Letheans weren't exactly common. A major upgrade from 1E, but perhaps
too focused on the events of "Distant Voices". A 3.7.
1E TREK SENSE: Pretty similar, with the exception of the attributes which are too low, in particular the Cunning. He laso doesn't win brownie points for the Cost's Trek Sense. A 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: Non-Aligned personnel normally supplement affiliations
on skills they are low on, and in this case, it's Telepathy that's pretty
rare. Altovar's not the only choice, but he's a good one for treacherous
decks/affiliations. 2 Treachery takes a real bite out of many dilemma and
mission requirements (also allowing him to lend his skills to others with
Shady Resources). Medical and Exobiology are excellent too, and not something
we see on Treachery personnel that much. He's also a Thief, and that allows
him to use a couple cards: Pickpocket, The Orion Syndicate, Bank Heist,
and Morn's card draws. He's far from the only Non-Aligned Thief, of course,
but he can't be turned straight by Marouk the way all those Gatherers can.
And let's not forget his special ability. He'll send a Medical packing
to its owner's hand at the cost of himself returning to your hand. Medical
aren't too tough in combat, but they're excellent mission solvers. Altovar
could ambush an away team, remove a Medical, leave, and wait for the crew
to encounter a dilemma that forces discards from hand, possibly putting
the Med in jeopardy. Having to spend points on a personnel a second time
can be annoying if that personnel costs a number of points. Altovar, meanwhile,
costs only 2, and shouldn't be too hard to report again. You can also use
the ability to return your own Medical to hand, possibly to report it elsewhere.
The option is there. Attributes aren't great (though The Orion Syndicate
can boost them). We have a 3.7 here.
1E STOCKABILITY: A version of the Altovar persona, I'm not sure why someone would even use the original now. He's still a Medical/Empathy Non-Aligned, and though he loses the use of his classification (for equipment and such), he does replace lukewarm Greed with the much more useful Treachery x2. That's a hand weapon download with The Art of Diplomacy, the use or Protection Racket, and protection from Sabotaged Negotiations. Thief doesn't do much anymore, though The Orion Syndicate is a backwards-compatible option. And there's the special skill, which can take out a personnel before a battle or mission attempt. In 1E, there's no question of Cost, but the personnel may have to report farther away. Same for Altovar though. Lower CUNNING, but that's it as far as attributes go. He's gained more than he's lost: a 3.9.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) So no need to be vindictive with me, right?
1E TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Compare to the original's 13.7 (68.5%).
PICTURE: Though blurriness creeps in, we see Ogawa actually working here, and that's always good. Sickbay's visible, so are some medical instruments in front of her, and the rather pastel color palette looks good. A fine enough 3.3, and, I think, her cutest card.
LORE: Not much of a quote, but it does bring out the "Assistant" in her, though there's no real link with the special ability. She's basically in Crusher's service. Subtitle's ok without being very interesting. Only 2.5.
TREK SENSE: Ogawa's an important TNG nurse, Crusher's most well-known
assistant, so she needs to stay versed in Medical, Biology and Exobiology.
She would also need a Staff icon. The special skill is what makes her different
from other versions of Ogawa we've had in the past. She can actually save
a life, which is something I would have reserved for full doctors (compare
to Crusher's more wasteful ability). Here's how it works, at any rate:
Ogawa has to be stopped, because healing the wounded isn't an instantaneous
action. You then pay a "cost" in the form of a resource from hand. It's
not discarded, it goes to the top of the draw deck. So does the almost-killed
patient, suggesting recovery time before it returns to hand, and then play.
Works fine except for the "cost". What does that card from hand represent?
Why to the top of the draw deck rather than the discard pile? I see the
need for making Ogawa pay a price, exert herself if you will, to get this
good a result in sickbay, but it's just too mechanical to work that well
for Trek Sense. We can see it as "pushing back" another resource because
time was needed to heal the patient. "We can rendezvous with the Nebula
later!" The Cost of Ogawa herself is fine: 2 for a valued unique Assistant
seems fair. As far as the attributes go, I see no problem with them. Integrity's
a bit above average, which you would expect from a Starfleet medical officer,
and not too high here, because she's not the one facing the real moral
dilemmas. Cunning's average, and Strength a bit under the average (had
some training, but not a combattant). Overall, I think her skills were
easy to determine, and the hard part was the special ability. It doesn't
quite work, nor do I think it's especially appropriate, but it's a fair
effort to give Medicals their own flavor. A 3.2.
1E TREK SENSE: The only changes to the review for 1st Edition are 1) that she has no classification and suddenly can't use Medical equipment, and 2) that her attributes are way too low all of a sudden, in particular Integrity and Cunning. That drops her down to 2.4.
STOCKABILITY: Medical personnel are as useful as ever, especially since
they tend to have the same basic skills, Biology and Exobiology, and those
skills are often found together on dilemmas and missions, but are much
less common in 2E's TNG affiliation (at least, for now). Of course, Medical
personnel are often targets as well, especially for stoppers. Be that as
it may, Medicals have some nice defensive abilities, and not just through
Emergency Treatment. Ogawa and Crusher can both save a personnel about
to be killed, so having them together can help in case of multiple deaths
in the same turn. The saved personnel goes to the top of the draw deck,
so must be "bought" back, and reported back. It costs you in the long run,
but you might save an important personnel. It'll also allow you to reuse
"When entering play"-style abilities on those personnel. There's another
cost: a card from hand must go to the top of draw deck just before the
almost-killed personnel. It can be bought back too, so it's not a permanent
loss, and can help you manage your hand and deck. It's actually a little
better than Beverly's ability in that respect, because hers discards totally.
Ogawa's weakness is that she's stopped if she heals someone, meaning that
you won't have her Medical skills along for the rest of the mission attempt.
Not always an issue (as after a battle started on your opponent's turn),
but it's a concern. Alyssa does cost 1 point less, so she's still a sound
investment. Attributes are kind of lame, but with Kalandra, they go up
by 2 each. Not bad. TNGers are good at solving missions, and keeping skillful
personnel around helps them in that regard. Ogawa gets a good 3.8.
1E STOCKABILITY: 1E Feds have LOTS of good MEDICALs, so Ogawa would need an edge to appear in a Fed deck. Her special skill isn't really it, since a Genetronic Replicator is much more efficient (no hand drain, personnel remain in play, no need to stop someone). Maybe your opponent keeps hitting you with Panel Overload though. And it could have probe rigging applications, though not easy to control. This Ogawa can also profit from the mission specialist Premiere version. That one downloads to any outpost, then can be switched anywhere for this one. Wouldn't really use the First Contact Ogawa, except for a quick Medical Kit download. Note that this Ogawa can't use Medical-related equipment and has low attributes. Because of all the other cards we have access to, barely hits 3.2 in 1E.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) She'll have to remain an Assistant for now.
1E TOTAL: 11.4 (57%) Better than Premiere, not as good as FC.
PICTURE: Amanda doing a little Jeannie or Bewitched move to do her magic... It's more appropriate than what 1E offered, but there's something fake about the image, like it was brushed up digitally or something. The colors clash with the background, and it's all a little too much like "candy". I'll tell you what though: When you take the lore into account, it looks like she's enumerating those powers on her fingers. Certainly more good than bad at 3.5.
LORE: A quote from Q (there's at least one in 2E!) and like I said, it meshes wonderfully with the pic. Good black comedy too. A 3.7.
TREK SENSE: As a Q, Amanda should be able to nullify most any effect in the game, but since she's a beginner and uses her powers in a more opportune manner. Where Kevin Uxbidge can upset the status quo and destroy an Event in play for who knows how long, Amanda limits herself to things happening in the here and now: an Interrupt or Event just played. It's a mechanical conceit, as many such cards aren't the kind of "evil" stuff she would tend to stop, but it's a workable concept. As for the limits, I agree with the point cost since using her powers was a dangerous thing to do. Humanity isn't in the business of taking the easy road to get to objectives, so this kind of "cheating" devalues those objectives. And points are representative of accomplishments. Now, the idea that you need to have scored at least 5 points to even play Amanda is more of a mystery. I think it's meant to show that some time has passed during which she developped her powers, time for them to get strong enough to do this kind of thing. As a Q, she can pretty much hop from situation to situation taking out cards she doesn't like. Works despite the mechanics showing through. A 4.
STOCKABILITY: In 2E, Amanda isn't limited to "nullifying" Interrupts, but takes out Events too, as long as they've just been played. That makes her a lot more flexible, though the limit is that she needs to be in your hand at the right time. Nothing new about that, and in 2E, it's a bit easier to draw cards to get to your Amanda. Another limit is that you need to have scored 5 points already, so probably solved a mission or at least gone round the corner with something. Stops you from preventing early strategy plays. Since the card costs you 5 points to play, you need to have those 5 points too. That's a more important limit, and will keep you from using Amanda on every Interrupt or Event just played. You'll have to wait for the best moment, and have the points to spare. With a solid mission solving strategy, supplemental round the corner strategies may be used to simply pay off Amanda/Kevin costs. Not that you'll have too many Amandas to spare, since it's a rare card. In a set as big as 2E Premiere, those Amandas are going to be tough/expensive to find. You're lucky to be able to include one in your deck. It's too bad too because Events and Interrupts make up the bulk of powerful effects in the game (not the least of which are calls to battle). A 4 this time around.
TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) Certainly better balanced than before.
PICTURE: The Acamarian ship on which the Talks are to be held is just another redress of the ol' Antares class ship, but it's not bad as a mission picture. An ok 3.
LORE: You're the mediator between Acamarians and Gatherers. Simple lore. Too bad they couldn't find a relevant (or complete enough) quote though. Another merely adequate 3.
TREK SENSE: First, let me stop to examine the idea that any affiliation
would be interested in attempting this mission. Would they really? Mediation
is something the Feds do a lot of, but the Bajorans have their own troubles,
and the Klingons? Not sure it should be this generic, but I do admit that
instability in the Acamar region might be troublesome for any power as
the Gatherers spread to their space. Span and points are fine. Now for
the attributes, of which there are two sets. In the first instance, you
might use Anthropology to understand the long feud between the parties,
lots of Diplomacy because both sides have been at odds for so long, Law
to arrive at the proper treaty and enough Integrity to convince the envoys
that you are unbiased. The other way will work better for some rougher
affiliations, countering a lot of what I said in the opening lines of Trek
Sense, but they don't go with the lore much at all. Leadership and Security
seem to point to strongarming the delegates, forcing them to agree to the
terms you set. Lots of Treachery is required to make it a viable alternative
(more enlightened crews won't sink to this level), and Cunning allows you
to pull it off , perhaps by tricking the participants into agreeing to
your terms. That one's unfocused unfortunately. I would have liked to see
something for the Gatherers to do here, but them's the breaks. One set
of requirements works great, the other's just ok, some odd detail here
and there... hits 2.9.
1E TREK SENSE: No difference, except that my caveat about all affiliations having access grows as there are more affiliations in 1E. The Delta Quadrant affiliations in particular have no motivation for completing this mission. So 2.8?
SEEDABILITY: A good enough space mission in that is has a set of requirements
for many kinds of decks. Federation Diplomats can complete about as well
as Cardassian Treachery personnel. Actually, it's easier for the latter,
since Leadership, Security and Treachery are more common than Anthropology
and Law (for Romulans too), not that they're all that rare, mind you. The
Diplomats do have an advantage in that the lower Integrity required might
allow them to have one less personnel present (especially if they're high-Integrity
Diplomacy personnel). The personnel best suited to the task is Enabran
Tain (Head of the Obsidian Order) who has all the skills from the second
set of requirements. One nice thing is that the requirements could easily
be found on planet missions (unlike spacier stuff such as Navigation and
Astrometrics). That means a tighter skill list to achieve your primary
objective of completing both a space and a planet mission. 35 points is
pretty standard, and the mission can be used by anyone but the Borg (who'll
no doubt have their own unique style of mission come Call to Arms). A 3.5.
1E SEEDABILITY: With so many requirements, especially because they consistently have an attribute component, 2E missions don't make very efficient missions in 1E. They can keep putting the backwards-compatibility icon on there, but that's not gonna be any less true unless they put special game text on there as well, or a very high point value. That's true here. Indeed, it's worse than that because Law is actually rarer in 1E, and because the mission can be stolen. Only 2.2 here.
TOTAL: 12.4 (62%) Rather ordinary, all things considered.
1E TOTAL: 11 (55%) And not even that in 1E.
PICTURE: Though basically just a bust shot, it looks more like an action shot than her original (1E) pic. You can squarely place her in ops, and that's O'Brien working on a problem ("Pup") next to her (the gold shoulder). Some blur and a background that looks split in half, but overall a dynamic effort at 3.1.
LORE: Though not a quote (she never had much to say), a marked improvement over any earlier incarnation. There's some good historical info on the Bajorans and how they came to inhabit DS9, which even hints at why regular staff tended to disappear over time rather than get promoted. Nothing much about Anara herself, but the vagueness of the lore makes this quite appropriate to a non-unique (i.e. "universal") personnel representing a "type". A very good 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Anara is typical of Bajorans serving in engineering positions on Deep Space 9. The icons check out, as does the first listed skill and her Cost (universal background extras, even if they had a couple lines here and there, should be easy to report - they are supposed to be legion). As for her other skills, Physics is related to Engineer, and so are Transporters. That last one is particularly credible since Anara served in ops, where a transporter pad is located. Attributes are average across the board, with less emphasis on Strength because Engineers aren't focused on combat. Nothing flashy, but really no mistakes at an even 4.
STOCKABILITY: DS9 icon Bajorans have the advantage that they may be used by 2 affiliations, starting out either at Bajor or at the Mouth of the Wormhole. She's the only non-unique Bajoran Engineer (who aren't loaded on Engineers in the first place). DS9 decks have Altman too, with an only slightly different skill list, and many unique Engineers besides. At that price, I'm not surprised weenie decks became dominant until recently, because Engineer isn't the only thing going for her. Physics and Transporters are good skills too, though slightly more accessible to the Bajorans. As a DS9 Engineer, she helps enable Visionary. A neat trick. Best mission for her: Cargo Rendezvous, which requires all her skill and some extra personnel to supply 30+ Integrity. Thanks to cost, even the lowliest personnel can be useful, and this one hits 3.8.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) For a "universal"! 2nd Edition indeed.
PICTURE: The look of righteous fury is perfect on her, as is the almost androgynous shock of white hair. Notice how she's sitting in the light of "right" and looking towards the darkness of "wrong". And of course, there's the bell, equivalent to a gavel in this case (it tolls for thee indeed!). The only flaw I see here is the composition, which is too loaded in the lower right corner. Manages a 3.8.
LORE: A quote about the damning evidence facing Nova Squadron, it puts us in the right frame of mind for a skill set that starts with Law. New first name, but it's fine. A good 3.2.
TREK SENSE: An Admiral, she commanded mostly cadets, but had power over
the commanders and captains too. She was quite intimidating actually, so
the double dose of Leadership works. Presiding over Nova Squadron's hearing
certainly gives her Law. She used her Navigation and Transporters to review
the information on the accident, a flight accident in which one of the
two victims failed to transport out of his craft safely. That may be a
bit TOO appropriate, that the Superintendent would have exactly the skills
needed, but 2E takes snapshots of a particular episode in a person's life
rather than go the more general "overall" route of 1E. In 2E, VIP is also
a thing of the past, so there no longer is a dilemma when making Admirals
as to whether they should be VIP or Officer. It's always Officer, and that's
a better way to do it. Integrity and Cunning are a bit higher than average,
but no more, which is fine for the Cunning as she couldn't really make
the charges stick until Wesley fessed up, but her moral outrage might have
upped the Integrity a bit. Ah well. Strength's fine for a woman of her
age sitting behind a desk. A note on the Earth icon, since it's the first
time we see it: 2E has decided to split personnel who served aboard the
Enterprise and those that served on DS9 and the Defiant. Personnel who
served on neither may work with either, since Earth is the common HQ after
all. Admiral Brand works on Earth, so the icon obviously belongs on her.
As for Cost, 2 may seem a small amount of energy to expend to get an Admiral
on your team, but she's probably fairly accessible to cadets, so officers
shouldn't have too much trouble getting to her. No mistakes in the skills
department, and in fact, few misgivings on the whole. She's a 3.9.
1E TREK SENSE: The only thing that changes is that the attributes are now too low, especially the first two. Otherwise, I'm as game as I was in the paragraph above. Drops to 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: Well, the Admiral keyword does nothing as of yet, but
for a simple Cost of 2, you get a meaty list of skills, a list she can
put to good use with either your TNG deck (Cradle of the Federation) or
your DS9 deck (Home of Starfleet Command). Law is a rare enough skill.
It appears on few dilemmas and missions, but it's still good to have around.
Then there's the double Leadership, and any doubled skill is good, especially
when it's a skill always in high demand. Did you know she's currently the
only Fed personnel with 2 Leadership? A quick search through 2E dilemmas
and missions shows more than your fair share of cards that require exactly
that amount of Leadership, oftentimes with some other skill she has (like
Officer). Crippling Attack and Tense Negotiations are particularly vulnerable
to her charms. Navigation, Officer, Transporters, these are more common,
but more frequent requirements, so again she comes up on top. And there's
always Precautionary Measures for those times when you'd rather see her
filtered out than your DS9 personnel. Attributes are bit lukewarm, but
overall, the price is right. A 3.7.
1E STOCKABILITY: Differences for the worse include no classification to use Equipment with, and a wider personnel pool that leaves little wiggling room for simple skill lists. Differences for the best include free reporting at the Office of the President and downloading via Going to the Top. Of course, that simple skill list I mentioned does include the Leadership x2 (just as good in 1E, with Secure Homeworld, for example) and 2 really rare skills: Law and Transporter Skill. Navigation is an old standard, but won't be wasted, and Officer is way better than VIP. Playing for free means the price is right once again, and she hits 3.8.
TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) The list of admirals could be more interesting this
time around, but please do something with the keyword.
1E TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) Close!
PICTURE: Mick Fleetwood has never looked better ;-). Actually, the old TNG video stock isn't the best quality, but the fishy Antedeans are fun to look at, and the perspective and composition look great. Despite the technical flaws, I can give this a 3.4.
LORE: Simple and to the point, Lwaxana's statement tells us what the danger is, and explains why "Assassins" don't kill any personnel. Nothing fancy, it gets 3.2 here.
TREK SENSE: The Antedeans are strange folk, and it's difficult to devine
their motives. That's why only someone very well trained in Anthropology
(x2 as it were) or a full Telepath (that's 2 Telepathy, you see) can hope
to spot the Assassins for what they are. It doesn't stop your personnel
from trying though, and an Anthropology personnel or a partial Telepath
would waste its time doing so. What doesn't work here is that your opponent
chooses which personnel is making the attempt, and I don't see how he or
she could. If no Anthropology or Telepathy personnel is present, then your
entire crew tries to figure them out. I think it's a bit much seeing as
they weren't THAT interested in "Manhunt", where the fishes were a barebones
subplot. As long as they aren't caught, in any case, the Antedeans are
free to bomb again as they escape back to the dilemma pile. You think your
personnel would eventually catch on that every conference they take the
Antedeans to gets blown up, but there you have it. As for the Cost, it's
a fair assessment of the danger involved. The plot is big, but the consequences
aren't imminently dire for your crew. Enough good to get a 3.5.
1E TREK SENSE: The only change of note is that the dilemma is simply not discarded if its requirements aren't met. This means that your crew or Away Team are dead set on trying to figure out the Antedeans no matter what, leaving behind the idea of the Assassins returning at other missions to bomb other conferences. Not as far-fetched perhaps, but exacerbates the problem I had with the effect being "a bit much". Remains at 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: Whenever a requirement asks for a single personnel that
has 2 of a skill, you know you're in trouble. Not huge trouble, mind you,
seeing as the effects are fairly benign (plus there are two choices), but
still. 2 Anthropology? Only Kamala currently fits the bill. 2 Telepathy
could become more common (we know many telepaths), but right now, only
Maques can pass the dilemma. It's a good thing there are cards to make
personnel gain skills (from the discard pile, for example), but those are
the personnel that can normally pass it. Now, if neither of these 2 personnel
is present, it's opponent's choice as to which Telepathy or Anthropology
personnel gets filtered out of the mission attempt. Anthropology is pretty
common, all things considered, so choices should abound, and you could
get rid of a personnel hopefully with lots of other abilities. Telepathy
personnel aren't as common however, especially outside the Federation,
so following up with a Telepathy dilemma could be an idea. The Moon's a
Window to Heaven might work well here. If neither Telepathy nor Anthropology
is present (not extremely likely), then the entire crew is stopped and
the Assassins returns to the dilemma pile where it may be used again. Overall,
I'd say you're gonna get your filter, but don't expect much more. At least,
it's an opponent's choice. 3.9 here.
1E STOCKABILITY: More possible dilemma combos at this point, but also more personnel who can pass the dilemma. Anthropology x2 is held by Chakotay and Karon are the only ones still (slim advantage in DQ). Empathy x2, on the other hand, can be found on Lwaxana Troi, Tam Elbrun, The Trois, Maques, Gem, Kes and Tanis. The Non-Aligned support could conceivably fill the holes in non-Federation affiliations, but it seems the dilemma will probably filter out a personnel here too. You can even make sure appropriate personnel aren't present by leading with a killer dilemma of some kind. Once a lone Empathy or Anthropology personnel is filtered out, plenty of dilemmas can become dangerous: V'ger, for example, or really, a host of Empathy dilemmas because that skill just isn't universal enough to be found in great quantities in many affiliations. And if it doesn't filter anyone because it can't? It becomes a wall, ready to strike again, filtering out the one personnel they bring in to take care of the requirement. Mouahaha. Does better in 1E despite a greater chance of being overcome: 3.7.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) Part of the non-lethal dilemmas of 2E's first set.
1E TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Just a touch less.
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