Siskoid's Rolodex...............  Blaze of Glory

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Blaze of Glory expansion set.

#315-A Good Day to Live, Mission, planet, Klingon, BoG
Secarus IV: Seek revenge on notorious criminal who used a genetic virus to murder Klingon children.
-(Kor OR Kang OR Koloth) + STRENGTH>40
-Span: 4; 30* points; *+5 for each red right-facing Nemesis icon personnel in Away Team.

PICTURE: A very smoky planet that gives the impression that evil is afoot, sort of like the skies of Denmark in Hamlet. Essentially a success, but not the first planet we've ever seen. A 3.3.

LORE: Great words which I was about to exalt for making the mission more generic thanks to the phrase "Klingon children". Sounds like you don't need Kor and company. But whoops, you do, so it needn't have been so generic after all. Bonus points for the great title which ties in with the mission A Good Place to Die, and the similar phrase from the shows "Today is a good day to die", though I wonder how much it relates to the mission's suicidal objectives. Still very original and worth a good 4.

TREK SENSE: Revenge is a very personal thing and so the Albino is sought by Kor, Kang and Koloth (one of them at a minimum). The rest of the Away Team are loyal followers and friends. And Strength is about all that's needed to give the bad guy the spanking of a lifetime. I'm a bit surprised at not seeing Jadzia Dax (Klingon) listed here. After all, if all that's needed is STRENGTH, then Kor, Koloth and Kang should have the skills necessary to beam in undetected and bypass the Albino's security measures as per the episode. None of them have the same skills though (except the usual DipHoLe skills). Maybe each does it in his own way: Kang uses his knowledge of Physics and Security, Koloth has a few Klingon Intelligence tricks up his sleeve, and Kor... um... he's a legend! (Yeah, that's right...) Come to think of it, the Klingon Jadzia, aside from Science, has little to help here, so her non-inclusion isn't so bad. Now, since revenge still is a very personal thing, each Klingon with the actual vendetta (i.e. the nemesis icon) gets extra points for accomplishing the mission. Cool stuff, and uniquely Klingon. Honor must be satisfied. Some shuffling, but very nice - a 4.2.

SEEDABILITY: A new deck type is born - the Blood Oath deck. With the 4 red right-facing nemesis icons, you can nab yourself up to 50 points here and all that's needed is that you stock four pretty good personnel. To get you half-way to your victory, is it too much to ask? With them in play, you can also play at lowering opposing personnel's value with Blood Oath, which can quickly download yourself the appropriate personnel (plus one of their matching ships). Good card management can get this one done easily enough, but be careful of dilemmas that will kill your key personnel. Extremely hard to steal and impossible to assimilate too. A 4.1.

TOTAL: 15.6 (78%) Our first Blaze of Glory card is a winner! No surprise here.

#323-Access Denied, Incident, Hidden Agenda, Referee icon, BoG
-Seeds or plays on table. Place on any opponent’s mission; adds 1 Computer Skill to mission requirements and increases existing Computer Skill requirements of each dilemma there by 1. Also, while in play, nullifies all Establish Gateway objectives targeting your missions. You may suspend play while you discard incident (from table or mission) to download Fractal Encryption Code.

PICTURE: What's likeable here - I really like the way you can clearly read "Acess Denied" on the computer screen. The two drones are a cool duo working with a Federation issue tricorder no less. The color scheme is spot on, and the tilted angle of the shot makes us see how uneasy and unstable the situation is. Cool how the interface is half-Fed, half-Borg too. A good 4.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: Basically locks up all computers at a given location, or set of locations. The effect? At a single location (if placed there), it makes the mission dependent on Computer Skill in addition to its normal requirements, or more Computer Skill if it already requires the skill, as well as to any already Computer-related dilemmas at that location. Always an opponent's location (though after seeding's done, one could argue that they are anyone's) because you would naturally have access to your own encryptions. We'll have to say the ship's computer and tricorders freeze up too if we're to believe it's affecting missions like Biological Survey on lush virgin planets (but Tricorders are cards that must be present to really be there, they apparently can't be inferred). Some missions could have nothing to do with technology, like Reunion or Risa Shore Leave, but I suppose the Away Team could be denied access to some room, or pleasure center. There will always be those little quirks to any card this wide in range. The card also nullifies Establish Gateway objectives on your own missions, something more in going with the card's picture. One logic problem I have with the card is that it does this if it's on the table, but also if it's on a mission in particular. So is it affecting just one location? Or all your space locations in addition to that one? Bleh. As for the Trek Sense of that particular function, it's a little broad (I would have asked for specific play on a location, just like for the other), and doesn't really work. I mean, what? The Borg lose access to their own computers? Establishing a Gateway requires no other ship and certainly no ground-based computer system. Even the picture is actually taken from an attempt at Stop First Contact/Build Interplexing Beacon. The nullification of Assimilate Starship or even Salvage Starship would have made more sense here. Finally, you can get rid of Access Denied for its "persona", Fractal Encryption Code, which is more in keeping with nullifying Assimilate Starship. Since one (FEC) more or less creates the other (Access Denied), I'm not sure it makes sense to replace them in this sequence. I would end with an examination of the Hidden Agenda icon which makes sense here: computer codes are a covert thing. I've demolished this one to a 2.1.

STOCKABILITY: First, I'm curious to know how many dilemmas require Computer Skill (so's I can build my combos in preparation for Access Denied). A quick search yields: the useless Impassable Door (list starts off slow), Ancient Computer, No Loose Ends and Ferengi Ingenuity as conditions, and Harvester Virus and "Pup" as cures. That's not a lot, but some of them are quite potent. Computer Skill is the most common skill around, so the missions and dilemmas that require it aren't so fearsome anymore (and in the case of Impassable Door, never were). With Access Denied, that weakness in the game (the commonality of the skill) is bypassed somewhat, but since everyone's packing Computer Skill, it really won't hurt much to add one to any mission's requirements. Its second function, and the reason it has the still-mysterious Referee icon, is what will principally interest players. With it in play, while also apparently making one of your opponent's missions a little harder to scout, it destroys any strategy dealing with Establishing Gateways at your own dilemma-less (because solved) space missions. Very noble. You can even play it on the table, hidden from peering eyes of course, and wait for the right mission to foist it on, depending on your opponent's move. Later, in a Starship Assimilation emergency, you can ditch it in favor of a Fractal Encryption Code. That card's not used much, but Access Denied (and FC Data) gives players some incentive to do so, by making it more easily... hem... accessible. All in all, it's mostly good against Borg swarm decks, with a little ability thrown in for the rest of the affiliations pestering your own. With a couple brownie points for being seedable, just hits the even 4.

TOTAL: 13.47 (67.33%) Denied a higher ranking because of Trek Sense.

#331-Admiral Ross, Personnel, Federation, BoG
"Starfleet veteran. Performed the wedding of Benjamin Sisko and Kasidy Yates. Reluctantly involved in Section 31 plot to discredit Senator Cretak."
-VIP, Leadership, Diplomacy, Anthropology; Honor OR Section 31 (choose at start of each turn); Command icon

PICTURE: The picture actually has some pizzaz thanks to the angular window in the background. It points to Ross while staying out of focus enough to give him some solidity (solidity I never felt he had on the show). Otherwise pretty plain. A 3.1.

LORE: Three nuggets of information. Nothing about his heading the effort against the Dominion, but I guess the wedding came first. That, along with the Romulan/Section 31 events are from very late in Deep Space 9's last year, so I AM impressed at how quickly this card came out after the "Final Chapter". His rank as Admiral is mentioned in the title (no first name? It's William), so that makes him more useful in conjunction with Going to the Top and Office of the President. A 3.2 here.

TREK SENSE: Of the two Admiral types, OFFICER and VIP, I would have thought Ross was more of an OFFICER. VIPs would have the desk jobs, OFFICERs would be on the front lines like he was. Leadership (and the Command icon) is a given for a man in his position, as is Diplomacy (especially for handling Cretak and company). The changing skill is interesting, Honor or Section 31? Is his brief collaboration with Section 31 worth this? It certainly can't coexist on his card with Honor. And was he even all that honorable in the first place? Seems to me he made a career of making friends with the Romulans to the point where he would take their side against Kira and the Bajorans. Hey, he wouldn't even drink with Martok as Cardassia burned. If at least it had been his idea, but he was just sheepishly copying Sisko on that one. Iffy. He's not DIShonorable, but he's not particularly Honorable either. The attributes: Integrity allows for his duplicitous actions in line with Section 31, Cunning is a little high for the Admiral who looked to Sisko for all his ideas, and Strength is also a bit high (never really having seen him in any kind of fight). Trying to make him more useful here than he was on the show keeps Admiral Ross at 2.5 in Trek Sense.

STOCKABILITY: A DipHoLe with a couple of added features, Admiral Ross will fit into your Diplomacy deck, etc., but that's not what you should be doing with him. He's perfect for running a Federation battle deck. With Office of the President, you can report him for free (also, with Going to the Top), then play HQ: Defensive Measures. He's our first Section 31 personnel (without the benefit of Reflection Therapy) allowing us to take advantage of that card's abilities. It makes him able to attack your opponent's Federation cards. I don't even think he'd be switched to Honor very often. Throw in people like Captain Kirk and Admiral Leyton and Admiral Riker (another couple of freebies, including one who'll download a powerful ship) and you're all set to use those powerful Federation ships against most any affiliation. You don't even have to sacrifice your Battle Bridge side-deck for the three-way treaty. For straight mission solving, Ross will be less useful, with skills everyone else has, though his attributes are high enough. Decipher knew what it was doing when they made this. A 3.6.

TOTAL: 12.4 (62%) Could you tell by my tone that I hate this character? Well, I do.

#339-Alpha Attack Ship, Ship, Dominion, BoG
"Jem’Hadar attack ship produced at Chin’toka shipyard in Alpha Quadrant. Constructed after enemy forces restricted Dominion access to the Bajoran Wormhole."
-Attack Ship Class[Staff] May avoid being targeted by Establish Tractor Lock; Invasive Transporters

PICTURE: Hate having to review the sequel before the original, but don't always have a choice. So... The Alpha quadrant version on the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship has a smaller, bluer picture than its predecessor. Shinier, newer, I suppose. But also sillier, smaller and more harmless somehow. Not that great an angle, so only a 3.

LORE: Nice lore explaining the reasons why the Dominion decided to build ships in the Alpha quadrant. And mentions one of the coolest things we have yet to see as a card: the Chin'toka shipyards. A good 3.2.

TREK SENSE: Identical to the original except for the greater Shields and the missing Gamma Quadrant icon. The Staff icon is sufficient and appropriate staffing for this tiny, but efficient ship. The fighters have indeed been shown to be impervious to tractor beam locks AND able to beam personnel through shields (here called Invasive Transporters). No problems there. No, where people used to scream the loudest about the regular Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, was the attributes. And here, it's worse. Let's see: the low Range is common to support craft, though they could have been as fast as they are agile. The Weapons are perhaps a bit high, seeing as they usually attack in groups of three to accomplish what a Galaxy class can do alone (another Weapons 8). And the Shields! Well, these things get easily picked off by any ship with a modicum of power. Their strength is DEFINITELY in numbers. Maybe the ships could have been WEAPONS/SHIELDS +1 per similar ship present. In any case, Shields 9 is way too much (especially if 8 was already too much), though it makes sense that a later model would be better somehow. Let's open a can of worms: what if SHIELDS is more than just a value representative of a ship's actual shield strength? What if it represents a ship's ability to evade phaser fire? The small, fast, nimble fighter craft could add that bonus to their general shielding, no? Something to think about. All things considered, still a 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: Like the Borg, the Dominion have always been perceived as a difficult affiliation to play. Heck, when you report in another quadrant, you sacrifice speed. And when you can't even trust your own personnel to not kill each other or themselves for want of Ketracel-White or if a Founder dies in their presence, how far can you go? Where Enhanced First Contact made the Borg playable to non-experts (experts found them already very playable), Blaze of Glory helped the Dominion a great deal with cards such as Ultimatum and Alpha quadrant personnel and ships. While you could already report Jem'Hadar in the Alpha quadrant with the Jem'Hadar Birthing Chamber, you never had any ships. Now, there are Alpha quadrant personnel AND ships (this one) which can report (with Spacedoor, no less) at an Alpha quadrant Neutral Outpost. You don't even need a Gamma quadrant anymore! Of course, your Jem'Hadar will go through their Ketracel real quick without a Vorta, but it's still possible. Say you want to run a Gamma quadrant-only mission solving deck, but still want to slow down you Alphan opponent with good ol'-fashioned combat, this is the ship for you. WEAPONS and SHIELDS are way up there, and as many as 4 Tactic cards will help out here. Add the ability to use Invasive Transporters for personnel battles aboard opposing ships, and you don't even mind the low RANGE that much. The immunity to Establish Tractor Lock is simply a bonus. And of course, in a more normal strategy, it really speeds things up to be able to report ships to your Remote Supply Depot. Useful, very useful. A 4.3.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) We can't know yet if the original was better than the sequel.

#347-Ambassador Tomalak, Personnel, Romulan, AU, BoG
"Romulan Ambassador in Barash's illusion. Key figure in securing a treaty with the Federation. Commander of the Decius."
-VIP, Diplomacy, Leadership, Exobiology, Computer Skill; SD Treaty: Federation/Romulan; Barash icon; Command icon

PICTURE: That white strip of light affords a lot of dynamic appeal to this otherwise blurry and strangely shadowed card. Can't totally save it, but it's probably better than the other two Tomalaks. A 3.4.

LORE: Everything's there. The Barash illusion, an explanation of the special download, and a matching commander status. Finally the true commander for the Decius (regular Tomalak serving that post, and still serving it, unreasonably for the last few years). Nothing too exciting in the prose category however. A 3.4 too.

TREK SENSE: FINALLY, a Tomalak worthy of Picard's greatest Romulan nemesis of all time (aww, forget Sela). His matching commander status is dead on (unlike someone ELSE I know), and so are the obvious icons (Command, AU and Barash). In his old age, Tomalak trades OFFICER for the more ambassadorial VIP, but keeps both Diplomacy and Leadership (still in full form). The Computer Skill is a skill every one practically has (much like in the real world... I'm talking certain age groups, I guess), so it fits. And the Exobiology looks like a patch in the Romulan skill weaknesses department, more than anything seen on the show. That one's iffy. Nothing in any of his appearances demonstates the use of this skill in the present or any kind of future. (One of Barash's infamous "mistakes"?) The Treaty download is quite natural. He WAS instrumental in securing such a treaty in Barash's illusion. Attribute changes from the regular version (6-7-9) show a Tomalak who has become friends with the Federation (2 points up on Integrity), but has grown old too (a 2 point drop in Strength). A lot of sensible stuff, with a little unsatisfying invention. A 3.7.

STOCKABILITY: The only skill that's new here is the Exobiology, since Leadership, Diplomacy and Computer Skill are all very common (though Leadership allows the now-VIP to attack). Exobiology does find itself on a number of Romulan missions
and on more and more dilemmas. There were already a few Romulan exobiologists though, but Ambassador Tomalak might be a good one to use. He's got more skills for one thing, and great attributes. The Diplomacy/Exobiology combo allows him to solve Investigate Raid all by his lonesome. He's one of the few AU personnel available to staff the Decius, and he's its matching commander to boot. Crew Reassignment even allows him to report directly aboard, potentially turning it into a 12-12-11 juggernaut. The Treaty download all depends on your strategy, but it could speed up your combining of the two affiliations. It's not as useful as something that could be used in any strategy, but still okay. Too bad "Ambassador" does nothing for the Romulans (unlike the Feds). Better than the other Tomalaks, but still not a godsend. Going for a 3.8 here.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Nothing to be ashamed of, really, but when will we learn what the Barash icon does?!?

#355-Attack Pattern Delta, Interrupt, BoG
"Upon encountering Dominion ships during a rescue attempt in 2370, Captain Keogh ordered the U.S.S. Odyssey and two runabouts to execute a predetermined attack pattern."
-Plays at start of ship battle. Doubles one Tactical Console until end of battle OR draw up to X additional Tactic cards, where X = the number of your ships in this battle.

PICTURE: If I were facing such an attack pattern, I wouldn't be too intimidated. I might not even notice the runabouts! The picture's okay, with an original view of the Galaxy class, but it doesn't quite say "Attack". Just an observation: there's a definite resemblance between a runabout's profile and Henry Starling's Chronowerx logo. The score hits 3.1.

LORE: Does an okay job of setting it up, but falls a little flat at the end. I would have rather liked to see an explanation of what the Delta maneuver was all about instead. Maybe it's the title that's misleading, as the card seems to be more about attack patterns in general. I dunno. A 2.9.

TREK SENSE: Like I just said, it feels like the card should just be called Attack Patterns, period. During a ship battle, these attack patterns can be accessed (each one is a Tactic card) as part of the ship's range of available strategies. "For each ship" is a little arbitrary though, but here goes with the Delta pattern pictured on the card (where multiple ships was the key). Doubling the Tactical Console also goes with the overall theme, making an already "tactical" ship even more efficient. Oh, it follows the theme, but it's all a little fuzzy. An even 3 (this one's going for average!).

STOCKABILITY: All depends on your tactical needs, really. The first function works well for everybody, since at the drop of a hat (and even faster than that by downloading it through Keogh or Letant), you can double that Console to make your ship a whopping +6 WEAPONS! Take that! Depending on your battle bridge side-deck's composition, Attack Pattern Delta can give you a broader range of Tactics to choose from. The Federation in particular, if using a mix of ships, has a number of Tactics available to them. You don't want your Thunderchild to miss out on an Akira bonus just because there were a couple of  Galaxy enhancers in front of it. APD will give you a minimum of one extra Tactic to choose from (for a lone ship), but many more if you're using an armada. And since not everyone has the budget to get dozens of the rarer, more powerful Tactics, the extra Tactic draws can help you find one of the few you have in there. They often have weaker damage counters, so it doesn't matter if you weed them out of the side-deck. A good precaution for battle-heavy or battle-threatened decks, but basically support for the side-deck and Tac Console. A strong 4.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) Came out of the average at the very end there.

#363-Attack Wing, Tactic, BoG
-ATTACK bonus +1 for each of your ships firing. DEFENSE bonus +1 if  you have a Jem’Hadar attack ship defending. Hit = [flip][flip]. Direct hit  = [flip][flip][flip][flip].
*Sickbay damaged: randomly kills one MEDICAL, Exobiology or disabled personnel (on a Nor, one personnel in Infirmary).

PICTURE: What exactly is an attack wing? Is this it? A formation in which one ship fires, pulls up, the next ship fires, etc.? I'm asking, 'cuz I don't know this kind of thing. In any case, the picture isn't very impressive, with the weapons fire and ships all the same bland purplish color. Great design on the Tactics as a whole though. A 2.3. on picture.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: To me, unless a Tactic has a "this one" arrow icon (as opposed to all "flip" icons), it counts as two cards. The Tactic itself plus the damage counter. So this card is both Attack Wing AND Sickbay damaged. I'll evaluate the Trek Sense of both separately. Attack Wing carries the standard Attack 1/Defense 2 of the "primary" ship weapons Tactics (each affiliation seems to have one), but its bonuses are given out differently. Instead of an overall bonus to a certain affiliation, multiple ship fire is given a +1 per ship. Goes with the description of the maneuver I gave above. Further, Jem'Hadar attack ships commonly use this tactic, so they get a bonus defending. Jem'Hadar would naturally know how to avoid damage while making this head-on maneuver. Otherwise, damage is normal (2 flips/4 flips). My problem is: what if you use this Tactic with only one ship present? Can one ship be an Attack Wing? Maybe it can still do the charge-and-pull-up. Since Attack/Defense is pretty basic, I'll be lenient. Now, the damage counter. Since there are no shipboard sites in the game (and unlikely to be any), hitting "sickbay" means killing doctors and nurses, probably. These are MEDICAL. Exobiology is likewise a medical skill, but why isn't Biology also there? Especially fun: disabled personnel are expected to be in sickbay being taken care of. On a Nor, there actually is a sickbay, the Infirmiry. As to the damage itself, sickbay is in a very protected part of the ship (according to all canon information on the subject). Piercing Shields and Hull should thus be at a premium. Sickbay is also far from weapons and warp nacelles. I think those could have been much better handled. All in all, my first Tactic hits 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: As a strict Tactic card, it's okay, and probably useful for Dominion players. The two Jem'Hadar attack ship types will get their weighty DEFENSE 3 bonus. Armadas stand to gain a lot from it too, since the ATTACK bonus goes up by 1 for every ship in your armada, though those strategies hardly require a Battle Bridge side-deck, not for sheer WEAPONS fire anyway. As a damage counter, it may not be especially impressive (-1-1-1-25%), but the Sickbay casualty is a very nice one. Don't forget you don't have to be on the offensive ship-wise to use Tactic cards. They act as damage counters when a dilemma (or other card) damages a ship. Put a ship damaging dilemma juste before something that requires MEDICAL, and you just improved its chances of hitting. Alternately, disable a personnel with something like Two-Dimensional Creatures, Lethean Telepathic Attack or Trauma to make sure you get a hit. Most of the disablers are temporary things, make them permanent with a carefully constructed side-deck. Two flips of Attack Wing will kill two MEDICAL or the rarer Exobiology. Sorry about that Aphasia Device... An overall 3.9.

TOTAL: 13.33 (66.67%) My first Tactic! Not many card types to go.

#371-Bat'leth, Equipment, BoG
"Traditional blade weapon of the Klingon warrior. According to legend, the first bat’leth, or 'sword of honor,' was forged by Kahless the Unforgettable some fifteen centuries ago."
-Each of your Klingons present is STRENGTH +2, and in each battle one of them may mortally wound one adversary they just stunned. (Cumulative.)

PICTURE: Much better than a prop shot, I'm glad they chose a "bearer" for the Bat'leth, and one of the most honored Klingons in the Empire too - Koloth. The colors are a little lame in the background and the image is slightly blurry, but I still give this one a 3.5.

LORE: Definition, translation, origins. Good stuff at 3.5 again.

TREK SENSE: Okay, so it's a hand weapon like many others (+2 STRENGTH, cumulative), so it has the same problems as others of its ilk - are we to understand that one Bat'leth gives everyone a bonus? Or that one card represents a batch of bat'leths, and in multiple, Klingons are wielding more than one sword? This issue stands unresolved, and is even less sensical with melee weapons than it was with disruptors and phasers. Of course, with only Klingons being able to use the Equipment, we skip around the problem of "anybody can press the trigger" inherent in many other weapons. Bat'leths are all about skill, and most outsiders can't use them effectively (good thing we have a Klingon Jadzia, or else I'd be screaming). Of course, I can't argue with the bonus to STRENGTH (that's what weapons are made for, but how would they help with Maglocks?), and the new stun-to-mortal wound conversion is cool, as there's no stun setting on a sword. We've often seen Klingons use a move that knocks someone to the ground and only then does the bat'leth come down for a killing blow. Why can only one from the war party kill a stunned man? Is that to say there really is only ONE Bat'leth? Here, the cumulative would make sense. But not in the other case. Okay, hits a 3.3.

STOCKABILITY: One more hand weapon the Klingons can report to Empok Nor, among other places, the Bat'leth can't be used by Non-Aligned or allies under Treaty, but CAN still be used by Klingons otherwise affiliated, like Worf and K'Ehleyr. The bonus is your regular +2, but you also get a nifty stun-to-mortal wound option that'll kill you more personnel for your military budget dollar. Since Klingons are pretty strong (and you add a +2 for each sword), you'll usually be able to stun a large portion of the enemy. Ooops, they're dead. Well, one is dead for every Bat'leth you have present. For solving missions and passing dilemmas, the +2 to STRENGTH is just as useful as Disruptors, but only if you left the NAs at home. It's also necessary for the real easy universal mission Bat'leth Tournament, and counts as a hand weapon for a number of cards. And it's downloadable by two cards, Blood Oath and Koloth, for even easier access. I'd include it in Klingon decks for flavor alone if it wasn't this good. A 3.9.

TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) Good for Klingon attack party decks mostly.

#379-Bat'leth Tournament, Mission, planet, Klingon, universal, BoG
Klingon planet: Participate in bat’leth competition held at this Klingon settlement.
-Honor + any bat’leth
-Span: 3; 25* points; * +10 if bat’leth is Sword of Kahless.

PICTURE: Very nice conjectural planet(s), but I'm wondering how appropriate they are. Which is the Klingon planet anyway? Seems to be that soft striped one, but I would rather think it was its small volcanic moon. Much more Klingon. Wish they'd used that one in blow-up. Screams Bat'leth tournament. Ah well, the card'll have to settle for a 3.2.

LORE: Pretty normal, though it does answer the question as to what might lie in the Klingon Empire. All we ever see is Qo'noS and the assorted space location. The Federation has all these planets, but we rarely hear about any Klingon settlements. Here's one, and it's meant to be universal. "Klingon planet" has very little poetry to it, but the lore is at least average. A 3.

TREK SENSE: I suppose Bat'leth tournaments are something like tai-kwon-do tournaments, swim meets and ccg tourneys in the Empire. Every region hosts one. It's a cool idea for a Klingon-only universal mission. What does it take? Well, Honor is important, because the Bat'leth is the "sword of honor", though I happen to know dishonorable Klingons also use the weapon. Maybe Honor is required to judge the event (but you shouldn't have to bring your own judge), or to win (but the lore says "participate"). Of course, you also need to bring your Bat'leth! They're not like bowling shoes. You can't rent them on site. The points are good for a sports competition. The galaxy's fate doesn't hinge on this one, so 25 points is more than enough. Extra points if you're using the Sword of Kahless (which counts as a bat'leth by virtue of the requirement being "any bat'leth" not "Bat'leth", small "b"), which insures a win AND plenty of glory. But that's still 35 points for a sports event. It probably shouldn't be this empire-shattering. Maybe the bonus should only count once per game, for the one time you show it to the world ("oh my god, it DOES exist!") I might even make the mission worth LESS points to punish anyone who finds such an important artifact and only uses it to compete in an assinine tournament. Some good, some not so good. A 3.5 overall.

SEEDABILITY: Such a tiny mission, but with great potential. Look how easy it is! Honor? The most common skill in the Klingon empire! Plenty of mission specialists for it too (jumps to 30 points). A bat'leth? That's just equipment your Klingons were gonna use anyway right? And acquire the Sword of Kahless beforehand, and you've just nabbed yourself 35-40 points per universal mission. And it's very difficult to steal. Its points are too low for the Borg to be interested. It's Klingon-only, and what other affiliation is going to packing a Bat'leth? There aren't that many Klingons in the other affiliations. Only Klingons can steal this one from other Klingons. It's incredibly easy to solve, so you can build your deck around it, and/or keep copies of it on hand to replace a duplicate mission. My, my, my... a 4.5.

TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) A powerful addition to your Klingon strategies.

#395-Battle Bridge Door, Doorway, BoG
-Place one atop Battle Bridge side deck during the seed phase. Battle Bridge is now open and in play (immune to cards which close doorways). OR Stock in deck and play at start of ship battle (even during opponent's turn) if you have Leadership in that battle. Allows you to draw two extra Tactic cards (cumulative) or enhances each of your ships' and facilities' WEAPONS +1; then discard doorway.

PICTURE: A little darker than I would have liked, and the colors come from a rather slim palette. Too busy and inefficient composition-wise. The door itself may be "center", but it's not "front". It's way in the back. Saving grace: there's a crosshair design on the ceiling, which is very much in line with the card's uses. A 2.8.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: We have to ask ourselves, is the Battle Bridge side-deck Trek-sensical? Well, the idea of Tactics and the entire mechanic behind them definitely is. The old ship battle system was never either interesting or sensical, and this one is. That's great. But do we need to enter the Battle Bridge (as this card entails) to use Tactics? The answer would be no, since most ships don't even have a secondary bridge like this. Of course, I dare say a lot of cultures HAVE a battle bridge. It's just their primary (and only) bridge, that's all. That it can't be closed is just a game design thing. Door-Net would be particluarly sensical here, for example. As to the stocking uses, they're like limited uses of the Battle Bridge side-deck, or add-ons to it. You have to use it at the start of a battle where your Leader is present (they're the ones with Tactics in their heads), and you can either pick two extra Tactics (more options on the Battle Bridge, or in battle mode if you prefer) OR enhance your ships and facilities here by an extra +1 WEAPONS. These are in battle mode for that fight, so they're showing their teeth. It's like a small ATTACK bonus in addition to whatever else you're packing. Seems like most of the problems are from the choice of what should represent these abilities, cuz when I use battle mode as a concept, it clears a few things up. Still seems to me that Trek Sense would dictate that the side-deck ALWAYS be used. Anyway, this one gets a good 4.1.

SEEDABILITY: Battle Bridge side-decks still have their detractors, people who always attack from an absolute position of strength with Kurlans and lots of WEAPONS/SHIELDS boosters. Certainly, you can't be using the three-way treaty to make your Federation ships war machines with this side-deck. But there are a lot of nice things about the side-deck (besides the fact that they're just plain fun). For one thing, dilemma and event-caused ship damage can now cause casualties as well (and all sorts of nasty business). Some Tactics make great defensive tools against such Kurlan-powered ships (especially those that suspend enhancements). And the odder Tactics are cool - Borg Cutting Beam helps in assimilation, Quantum Torpedos can hamper mission attempts, and Plasma Energy Burst wreaks all sorts of havok (to name only a few). As for STOCKABILITY, it's not as good. A +1 enhancement to WEAPONS isn't something you can't do more permanently with other cards. And extra Tactic draws are mostly necessary with side-decks that lack focus, and can usually be given by the downloadable Attack Pattern Delta (though it requires multiple ships). Since the Door need never be reopened (it's immune to closure - YAY!), you don't even need to stock another to do so. Usefulness pretty much equals that of the side-deck itself, which I'd put at 4.4.

TOTAL: 15.07 (75.33%) I think an excellent card was downed by its less than terrific picture again...

#387-Blood Oath, Incident, BoG
-Plays on a non-Borg personnel who has INTEGRITY<8 and no Honor. Adds [Nem, L, Red] icon beginning at start of your next turn. OR Plays on table. While you have two [Nem, R, Red] personnel present together, all [Nem, L, Red] personnel lose their first-listed skill and, in place of one card draw, you may download to that location I.K.C. Ning'tao, I.K.C. Lukara, I.K.C. Gr'oth, Bat'leth, Blood Oath or one [Nem, R, Red] personnel.

PICTURE: Pretty cool pic of four Klingons armed to the teeth walking out of the fog like some kind of heavy metal band. Strangely disembodied, but I like it for being a Klingon equivalent to We Are the Borg. The fires of revenge in the background... all works to give this one a 4.1.

LORE: n/a (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: In this one, the right-facing Nemesis icon represents the revengers, while the left-facing icon are the targets of the vendetta. If played on a personnel, it makes that personnel a target of the Klingon vendetta (or Blood Oath). That personnel must be dishonorable (have no Honor and no high Integrity), and can't be Borg (they are beyond the concepts of honor and dishonor). Through the card, your Klingon revengers (Koloth, Kang, Kor and Jadzia Dax) make a pact to go and kill the target personnel. Pretty good storytelling, except there's no way to give the "revenger" icon to anyone new. Would those four Klingons actually have vendettas against anyone other than the Albino? Would Jadzia actually go against a Federation personnel targeted by Blood Oath? Opens up a nasty can of worms. And why wouldn't Koloth try to destroy the Borg Queen if she was responsible for the assimilation of a family member? Let's look at the second function to see if it does any better. To activate any of the effects, you must have at least two "revengers" together. It doesn't work if they're not plotting (like in the episode, The Albino was fine until the Klingons Four actually banded together). If they are plotting though, the target(s) lose one skill. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe they are actively hindering his or her ability to operate effectively. The Albino only loses Greed though (can't concentrate on his vices?), so this is not entirely conclusive. While the Blood Oath is in effect (with your revengers together), you can also download to their location a number of resources related to their quest. The three Klingons' ships, Bat'leths (the honor sword), Blood Oath to target someone (the actual act of plotting) or one of the other revengers. Great storytelling here, and it really follows the episode. All in all, I'd have to say it's a 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: Not for every deck obviously, it'll only really work with the Klingons, and if you're using at least two of the four revengers. It's good for the Blood Oath strategy certainly. First, use A Good Day to Live and all four Klingons. That mission can net you a lot of points if you're using them all. In any case, most of them have a good skill list and attributes, and one of them can download Blood Oath itself (Kang). After the mission's done, use them as a strike team. With Blood Oath in play, you can get them weapons, ships (only one for right now), other revengers and the means to give an opposite Nemesis icon to opposing personnel. À la Borg Queen, these downloads are in the place of any card draw, so a Kivas Fajo-Collector can nab you up to three downloads. So here are your four Klingons going around the spaceline on a ship with its matching commander, attacking Away Teams with multiple Bat'leths, and often erasing a personnel from existence thanks to a sudden Nemesis icon. Not all personnel are elligible for a Blood Oath, but the more evil affiliations will have difficulty hiding their low INTEGRITY personnel from view. Pretty cool if you want to base your deck on it. 4.1 here.

TOTAL: 17.47 (87.33%) A neat card that comes as close to an "Episode" card as possible.

#403-Boone Impersonator, Personnel, Cardassian, BoG
"Cardassian surgically altered to resemble retired Starfleet officer Raymond Boone. Spied on the Federation. Attempted to frame Miles O'Brien."
-ENGINEER, Treachery, Computer Skill, Physics; SD Counterintelligence; Staff icon; Federation infiltration icon

PICTURE: What's with that look? As an impersonator, maybe the pic from Espionage: Cardassian on Federation would have been more appropriate. This one's an ok headshot, but a little unsettling, and doesn't have the feeling that other one would have had. A 2.7, no more.

LORE: Pretty basic, and the name in bold/italics is actually a drawback to using the card (allows for the impersonator to be exposed). Nothing too hot here, but no faults either. I hate the name though. Seems a little more forced than similar "Founders" over in the Dominion. A 2.9.

TREK SENSE: No Obsidian Order? Though there's no onscreen evidence that he was part of that organisation, it's not a huge leap to make. What IS there is mostly invention, so I don't see why greater leaps are acceptable, but not smaller ones. The Infiltration icon is of course, dead on (and rare outside the Dominion). The Treachery is also a must-have. His Computer Skill (which goes well with a well-tempered Staff icon) is shown off in the episode when he used O'Brien's voice recordings to simulate the true Miles. Where do the ENGINEER and Physics come from though? Was the real Boone an Engineer? And this look-alike trained similarly to replace him better? Why would he be? Because Miles is one? Remember, he wasn't really one back then. He was SECURITY. And I think SECURITY would have been a better calling for the deep cover agent here. Of course, the Cardassians are low on true ENGINEERs, so there you go. The special download is good, since it has to do with infiltrators, and is somewhat related to his skills. The Integrity is Founder Infiltrator level, but could even have gone lower. Cunning is high enough to pull off his little voice trick, and Strength seems low for a secret agent of his bulk. Gonna go for a plain 3 here.

STOCKABILITY: Well, in non-infiltrator strategies, Boone can at least report to the Ore Processing Unit and make it work. The skills are not bad, found on a number of Cardassian missions, but most are pretty common on Cardie personnel. Of course, ENGINEER is a fine classification, and Physics is much rarer and good for many Cardassian space missions. In infiltration strategies, Boone isn't bad either. He offers the Cardassians a shot at hitherto Dominion-only options, though not as many as shape-shifters do. He can make use of Counterintelligence (which he downloads) and Dial Martok for Murder, for example. The latter boosts his STRENGTH to a 9, so he could have a chance at murdering a lone Federation personnel for example. A Counterintelligence download makes that card more user friendly and would make the Feds lose ENGINEER (always useful for dilemma solving), Treachery (which they are very low on), Computer Skill and Physics (sometimes useful). A good drop in total CUNNING could also do damage. Of course, infiltrators all have the same weakness when it comes to these strategies. 1) They can be exposed (but at least there isn't a Raymond Boone to expose this guy yet) and 2) they can't really do their stuff if your opponent isn't playing the right affiliation. No Feds? Hope you needed Boone for mission solving! Turns out to be little better than average at 3.2.

TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) A cool idea, but not perfectly realized.

#411-Borg Cutting Beam, Tactic, Borg use only, BoG
-If you hit, you may relocate one of target’s crew members (random selection; from any one site if on a Nor) to one of your ships in this battle and assimilate that personnel. Hit or direct hit = [this one].
-SHIELDS: -2, HULL: -40%

PICTURE: Oh, my, yes. The apple green is a shade off from the deeper Borg green, but the picture brings you right there. I had never noticed on the show how the cutting beam was dragging a cross-section of a number of decks upwards. On this extreme close-up, we can see the tiny walls and ceilings. Amazing. You can also see the atmosphere escaping from the ship. Add the huge 1701-D for extra points, and you've got something real close to a perfect score. 4.9?

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: Obvisouly, only the Borg would use this. The ATTACK/DEFENSE bonuses seem pretty arbitrary, as I don't see how the cutting beam is more defensive than offensive. Maybe because a ship simply stops when it gets hit with one of these, but you could make a case for the opposite. The effect itself is fun. You nab a couple decks and capture one personnel that was in that particular corridor. Before you get a chance to say "You will be assimilated", the personnel's a drone. The card even allows for a Nor, with you choosing the site if not the exact personnel. Whether it be a hit or a direct hit, only this damage counter is placed on the ship. Now, I agree SHIELDS and HULL should be hard-pressed, but why can't there be another damage counter in the case of a direct hit? I'm sure slicing up the hull could cause any number of malfunctions. Perhaps we could say the Borg don't want to destroy the ship with this maneuver, and the beam is designed not to hurt any important ships' systems. Works. I do have reservations about Scout Vessels actually having cutting beams, but it's possible. 4.4 in all.

STOCKABILITY: A nice partner for Add Distinctiveness, Borg Cutting Beam adds another way to assimilate personnel, and I dare say, an easier one. Borg Servo depends on your opponent encountering the dilemma, and personnel battles can be dangerous. Ship-to-ship battle, when using something like a Borg Cube, is a much safer bet. Eliminate Starship (or Gowron of Borg) is easily used here, and while you can only place one damage counter on the ship, that may be what you want. The more turns it takes to destroy a ship (with only these, 3), the more personnel you assimilate. Armadas better beware, because with Multiplexor Drone, you can assimilate one personnel per ship. In some armada decks (say, K'Vort), that's all it takes to empty the ship and stop it from being a menace. The extra defense could make sure you're unharmed at the end of the battle. With Gowron aboard, take runs at your opponent's Nor. Really, the sky's the limit on this one. A fun card, if that's the kind of strategy you're going for. Gets a 3.9.

TOTAL: 17.6 (88%) Very cool. Very, very cool.

#419-Captured, Incident, Hidden Agenda, BoG
-Seeds or plays on table. During your turn, your non-Borg crew or Away Team may capture one opposing personnel present (random selection) if you have more SECURITY present than opponent, or more hand weapons present than opponent. OR During any player’s turn, you may capture one personnel just stunned in battle by your non-Borg SECURITY. Discard incident after either use.

PICTURE: An interesting angle on one of Picard's captured moments (seems like he was captured every other week, eh?) with the bad guy in the background. Cool lighting that matches his shirt. A little chaotic, and the bad guy's face is a bit unearthly, but not bad. A 3.5.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: First, and I don't do this enough, let me question the choice of card type here. Captured, by its title and abilities, sounds more like an interrupt to me. Plays on table? Come on. The only real reason it's an incident is because they needed the extra space for the large game text. As a Hidden Agenda, it also needs to be on the table, and there are instances where it should be so. If you're attacking someone with the hidden agenda of capturing one crewmember, for example. Sometimes, you'll capture an intruder simply because it was there. Where's the hidden agenda in that? So there are pros and cons to it. As for the effects, they make for pretty good Trek Sense. Stands to reason that your Security should be able to apprehend opposing personnel (and intruders!). You need more SECURITY or hand weapons (as the card's picture hints). Not so sure this should be random selection though. ("You got the ensign?!?!?") The rest is good except when it leads to outrageous situations like having your one SECURITY capture someone from a group of twelve personnel WITHOUT the classification. He was outmatched, game text or no. With hand weapons being more threatening to more personnel, there's less of a problem. The other possibility is to capture a stunned personnel during a fight. We've seen this a number of times on the show, so it's good. SECURITY are the experts in this kind of maneuver, so okay on letting them be the ones to act like Talon drones. Incidently, the Borg don't capture in this fashion. They ignore and later assimilate. A good card where this category is concerned, but easy to nitpick. A 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: An excellent capture card as it allows you to be more active in your pursuit of captives than what dilemmas may afford you. Using SECURITY (and some affiliations, like the Dominion, have plenty of them on hand), you can more easily capture opposing personnel, lead them directly to your nearby Brig, and do your stuff on them. No need to go and pick them up, for one thing. Whether you do this with numbers (offering no chance at retalliation if capturing the Feds or the Borg), of during a personnel battle (kill kill capture kill), it's something fun to do. Dakol, Perak, Telle and a hand weapon brought with Sleeper Trap will nab you as many as 3 personnel (with 3 Captured cards), in battle, since the outnumbering option is during your turn only. The only real drawback is just that: you need one copy of Captured per captive. Are you gonna seed all those? At least they're hidden agendas and easily kept from your opponent. He doesn't know his Invasively Beamed-In Jem'Hadar are headed for the Brig. Of course, Jem'Hadar are much more likely to be capturing your own personnel with this card than anything else. Many affililiations will find a use for this baby. A 4.1.

TOTAL: 16.67 (83.33%) A cool card. It's captured Cardassian hearts everywhere.

#427-Chart Stellar Cluster, Mission, space, Federation/Romulan/Cardassian, Gamma quadrant, BoG
Edge of Denkiri Arm: Perform long-distance overview survey of this region of the Gamma Quadrant.
-SCIENCE x2 + Computer Skill x2 + Stellar Cartography x2
-Span: 5; 40 points

PICTURE: Pretty, this one makes for a distinctive mission on the spaceline. Seems a little isolated though, and could have been more grandiose. Still, a good 3.7.

LORE: Fine, insofar as mission lore is rarely bad, but also rarely interesting. A clean 3.

TREK SENSE: Obviously in the Gamma quadrant, this one seems to merit its 5 Span thanks to the words "long distance" in the lore, though it would rather indicate you didn't go all that far to chart the cluster. I guess it's really far away for you to go a really long distance and STILL have to chart it long-range. The SCIENCE and Stellar Cartography are also obvious, and a whole cluster WOULD take a double dose of each. As for Computer Skill, computers can be used for a number of tasks, and could very well be included on most missions, so I won't dispute it here. Sensors have got to work with some kind of interface, right? The attempting affiliations are more or less picked at random. Only the Dominion probably has charts of this place already, the others might want some. Whatever. 40 points mark this as quite an expansive task (it's a whole stellar cluster!). Here, I give 3.7.

SEEDABILITY: A fairly easy mission for your Gamma quadrant, and for a big 40 points. The Federation and Romulans can make use of universal mission specialists (Richard Wilkins and Tarus for Stellar Cartography) to make it a whopper. None of the skills are too rare, and it even makes for a good mission to Espionage for a Dominion player in the neighborhood. Span's a little long however (which can work great to stall your opponent when your own ships are ultra-fast). A good addition to your scientific space deck (calling all Romulans...) at 3.9.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) A good score for a card that fit oddly in the battle theme (that is, not at all).

#435-Chief O’Brien, Personnel, Romulan, holographic, universal, BoG
"Holographic re-creation of USS Enterprise transporter chief. Used to aid mental reprogramming. Taibak forced Geordi LaForge to 'kill' the chief repeatedly."
-ENGINEER, SECURITY, Transporter Skill, Navigation, Music; Once each turn, may download Brainwash here; Staff icon

PICTURE: Caught in mid-sentence, this isn't the best of pictures. Geordi's hand in the foreground is a little distracting, but the fact that the stars in the background are blurred makes the whole thing a little unreal. And it is unreal. So, it's somewhat ok at 3.1.

LORE: The "Chief" was "killed" repeatedly while a "Geordi" was on "vacation" instead of "our" LaForge. "Fun" way of handling it, though pretty basic. A 3.3.

TREK SENSE: Better to have this a Romulan hologram than Federation just because the Chief is a Federation citizen. Why do I even mention it? Well, look at K'Tesh and Fek'lhr. A good re-creation, this O'Brien is an Engineer/Security/Transporter Skill/Navigation/Music personnel, just like the real thing (though one level less Transporter Skill) and even manages to keep his Staff icon. Imperfect, all attributes drop 2 points, and no special download. But why did the Romulans need such a skilled hologram (he's just like the TNG era Miles) if his only purpose was to get killed? Authenticity? I don't think the holo really had that much in the skill area. Mimcking attributes would be more helpful to the situation. The special skill really helps with brainwashing, which was exactly his function in the Romulan holo-grid. Downloading Brainwash is an okay way to do it (once per turn too), but probably should only work on Federation captives. I don't think it would "program" a Jem'Hadar much to have to kill an O'Brien. So it's got its problems at 2.8.

STOCKABILITY: Romulans are sure to love this. With the new capturing rules, and new cards affecting Brainwash, it becomes real interesting to base your strategy on this card. Sure, having a Brig can get you access to Brainwash, but fake O'Brien can get you one each turn! Many O'Briens (cuz he's universal) can get you as many as there are copies present (or captives). And with E-Band Emissions, you can turn those Brainwashed personnel into infiltrators. Swamp your opponent with capture-related cards, then with infiltrators. See if they can recover from all the disruptions. You'll need a Holodeck (rare in the Star Empire) like that of the Goraxus or Decius, or Holo-Projectors may be the easy solution. Get your O'Brien to your captives and voila. And when it comes to mission solving, O'Brien's also the most powerful hologram out there. Two classifications, the rarer Transporter Skill, good Navigation and even a universal Music for Ressikan Flute. You can earn points by just reporting these guys while you're busy capturing personnel. I have to say, this one's a strong incentive for making a Romulan capture deck. Might I venture a 4.3?

TOTAL: 13.5 (67.5%) A good addition to the Romulans, and he's not even a Rommie.

#443-Chula: The Abyss, Dilemma, space/planet, BoG
"In shap six of chula, players can fall into a deep crevasse. Three Deep Space 9 senior officers fell in, but landed in Quark’s bar and learned it was only part of an elaborate game."
-To get past, three personnel present (random selection) must face the abyss. If their total CUNNING is odd, they are "stopped" and, if possible, relocated to Quark's Bar.

PICTURE: While the matte painting isn't too bad when you look closely, your eye is always drawn to that dot in the center of the image. A falling rock that looks like either a glitch in the image or some kind of bottom. There's no visible bottom in an abyss. Can we see Quark's from here? All that gray has gotten to me - only a 2.9.

LORE: The "end" of Chula, where the participants may learn it was only a game, is explained okay. Not much in the way of drama for some reason, maybe because they "can" fall, which doesn't mean they do. An okay 3.

TREK SENSE: Like every Chula dilemma, this one is far more conceptual that realistic. Again we face the problem of playing only one shap with no regard for the others. There's still no real reason this would be a wall - if you don't have enough participants, you just don't play the game. And there's also the matter that it's a uniquely Gamma quadrant-specific game, but you can face its dilemmas without so much as a wormhole open. So conceptually... well, the wall/filter aspect represents well the waste of time Chula represented for the DS9 crew. The Abyss has three participants face a precipice. Only the "odd" ones (as represented by a total odd Cunning) will try to cross it or jump into it. That stops them of course (no one dies since it's just a game), or may relocate them to Quark's just like in the episode, since that appears to be the default location for playing the game. Problem with that is that Chula dilemmas would seem to be encountered where the game is played. Why would you relocate to Quark's if you were playing half-way across the universe from there? A low score like all chulas - a 1.9

SEEDABILITY: First off, it's a sure redshirt limiter. You need at least three personnel to pass it. If the point really was to redshirt, your opponent may decide to choose an odd total CUNNING and be stopped. The delay will cost him, but not as much as your waiting combo. An even total CUNNING will run his guys smack dab into it though. And what if you have Quark's Bar in play? He might go directly for the even CUNNING to avoid your ambush (you might have a strong assault team there or a ready Captured card) or being relocated a quadrant away (The Abyss is great to seed in the Gamma quad). Of course, there might not be any choice. It's quite likely that your opponent will run into The Abyss with a full Away Team (or crew!!!!) and the random selection may filter out 3 personnel. That's a lot. Especially if they are whisked away to Quark's. If you're wondering how often total CUNNING will be odd when dealing with 3 personnel, it should be about even (um... you know what I mean). If you need to choose (say you scanned or redshirted), for EVEN, you should send either 3 evens or 2 odds and 1 even. 3 odds or 2 evens and 1 odd will give you a stopping/relocating total. An interesting way to use it is to self-seed it and use it as a means of transport to Quark's, maybe from another quadrant. What's fun about Chula dilemmas is that they always throw a monkey wrench in the works, and make it much more difficult to run through dilemma combos logically. A good score here: 4.

TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) Trek Sense always drags these down... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

#451-Chula: The Lights, Dilemma, space/planet, BoG
"Players face several perils throughout the game of chula. In shap four of the game played in Quark's bar, Julian Bashir was singled out and 'eliminated' by a burst of energy."
-Crew or Away Team member with total attributes closest to 22 (your choice if tie) returns to hand. To get past requires CUNNING>24 remaining.

PICTURE: I'm not too impressed by this special effect since the "lights" don't really disturb the criss-cross of shadows underneath them. So they don't cast any light, huh? A case of the background being nicer than the subject. Only a 1.8.

LORE: The usual intro to chula (once again) and a brief explanation of the dilemma itself. The "elimination" is rightly mitigated by the quotation marks (and the game text), so I have nothing against this lore. An average 3 from me.

TREK SENSE: This one doesn't know what part of chula it represents, never mind that the whole chula dilemma experience is a Trek Sense fiasco. First, the "elimination" of Bashir is really a function of Pick One to Save Two; it carries out that choice. Secondly, the thing where it becomes a wall after "eliminating" someone is probably meant to represent further chula "perils", but those are all separate dilemmas too. Like I said, doesn't know where it stands. And while 22 is exactly the attribute total of our Dr. Bashir, it's really something that's just thrown in the air at random. Bashir wasn't selected because of his attribute total, but by the fickle hand of luck (or feeble finger of Quark, if he'd had a spine). The only redeeming thing about this Chula is that the personnel isn't dead, it's returned to your hand. Bashir wasn't dead either, but in some sort of waiting room until he could report again at game's end. Now factor in the problems inherent to all Chula dilemmas (on which I have spent too many words already - see other reviews), and you've got something that's worth 1.9. Barely.

SEEDABILITY: Always hits, so right away, that's good. 22 total attributes represents an average of 7 or so per attribute, so usually, your Lights will grab somebody good, and not a universal either (they have lower stats overall). A lot of good personnel are in the touchy 21 to 23 range, I dare say. A cursory examination of my cards reveals, of course, Bashir, but also Kira Nerys, The Emissary, 7 of 9, Dukat, Garaks (plural), Martok Founder, Picard, Mogh and Lovok. Plenty more. It's only a return to the hand, but since it affects uniques mostly, a nice Dixon Hill's Business Card might keep it out of reporting's way until a universal is played first. And once the "elimination" is done, the dilemma remains as a wall. You've got one less personnel, probably one who had good CUNNING, and you gotta pass it with, at the usual average, 2-5 personnel. So this dilemma could also serve as a lead-in to dilemmas you really don't want red-shirted. Alas, this one CAN be. A good card (finally!) at 4.1.

TOTAL: 10.8 (54%) A save at the end doesn't quite give the card a pass.

#459-Commandeer Ship, Objective, BoG
-Plays on your Computer Skill personnel who is aboard opponent’s empty ship (except a Borg cube). That personnel commandeers ship and, while objective in play, may meet up to three of its staffing icons. OR Seeds or plays on table. Opponent may not return to hand any ship which has your personnel aboard as an intruder or infiltrator.

PICTURE: While it's fun that Decipher went to an "outside source" (A Klingon Challenge) for this pic, I hope we don't see too much of this kind of thing in the future. I'd like to have access to the source of the pics, so not too many VCR games, computer games and Star Trek: The Experience footage please. With 4 series and 9 movies' worth of Star Trek stuff, I don't think we need to go elsewhere. In this case, Star Trek has a long history of commandeering, from the Kelvans on the original Enterprise, to the Ferengi and Satarrans on the Enterprise-D, to the Maquis and Dominion on the Defiant, any of which could have been used for the pic. As it stands, it's not bad, with the Klingon looking incongruous on the Enterprise-D's bridge. He's commandeering all right. A good angle, some nice colors. Still a fun 3.5.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: Commandeer Ship makes for a cool objective, at least in the first part of the game text. The way to do it is easy enough. Your Computer Skill personnel can access the ship's systems (seems TOO easy) and take over the ship. That personnel can even fill up to three staffing icon's worth of ship's positions! That's a little excessive (though probably necessary for game play). Not only can someone find a way around a ship's defenses, figure out how an often ALIEN system works, but it can also run the ship, a ship that might require a crew of hundreds, by him or herself. Thank god Borg cubes are excluded. There would be no way to commandeer such a large vessel. I'm even surprised Spheres and Scouts are included, since Borg ships seem to require drones to plug into alcoves, not something a commandeer expert can do. And why even mention Borg Cubes at all? If the Computer Skill personnel can meet 3 staffing icons, that still leaves 4 impossible-to-get staffing icons to be met. The ship couldn't fly. I guess it could still attack though, so okay. Had to ask the question. The card doesn't cover every situation, only that of commandeering an empty ship (à la Klingon Challenge). You can always empty the ship yourself though (hehehe). The second, seeds-or-plays-on-table function is very different. I don't know if it's supposed to mean there's a commandeering attempt under way or what. It stops your opponent from returning any ship to hand that has your intruders or infiltrators aboard. Since returning a ship to hand requires something like Space-Time Portal, I'm not sure how your intruder can affect that temporal anomaly. Conceptually, it means that while your intruder/infiltrator is aboard a ship, that ship's storyline isn't over and it may not be "taken out of circulation" without it being resolved. But that's all that's there. No real relationship to the title Commandeer Ship because the function in no way leads to a commandeering attempt by those intruders. A lot of holes: 1.5.

STOCKABILITY: The second function certainly serves a defensive purpose, protecting your infiltrator strategy from Space-Time Portal. You know the drill: your opponent realizes how much havoc that Lovok Founder could create and cuts his losses by sending his ship and crew to his hand, and your infiltrator to yours, to be reported in the far away Gamma quadrant, again. Seeding it will tip your hand though (NOT a hidden agenda). The second function can also be used in conjunction with the first, protecting your intruder strategy from Space-Time Portal and ensuring that those intruders can eventually make use of a second copy of Commandeer Ship to grab the vessel. Empty ships can be found at facilities or during planet mission attempts. The mere existence of this card can be a deterrent to sending all one's personnel down in a mega-Away Team. But how do you get through an opponent's shields? Well, Borg ships are a sinch, no shields to speak of there, so you can steal Scouts and Spheres easily enough. Open Diplomatic Relations will also work wonders, and the Dominion has Invasive Transporters AND a Jem'Hadar that can download this objective (Kudak'Etan). Kavok, pictured, can also download the card AND report directly to an empty Federation ship. How much easier could it be? The Ferengi have the special download on Bractor, but he'll have to use ODR or Devidian Door or something. Even without those personnel, Computer Skill is one of the most common skills out there. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the right one (maybe a VIP for ODR). If a ship isn't empty, make it an attack! Or use Outgunned, which in many ways, is a better, faster card, which will even get you captives. You'll need an armada, but hey, there's always a price to pay. Now, the question remains: why commandeer a ship? The same reason you would battle one - slows down your opponent. With commandeering though, you also get a free ship, and one that could have some nice attributes or features (like a Cloak). Many nice features are pretty useless in your hands though, like Invasive Transporters and Particle Scattering Field (you probably didn't stock the accompanying cards). And don't forget, the ship doesn't go in the discard pile, so can't be retrieved unless your opponent commandeers it back, or destroys it. Not bad, not bad. Hits a 3.9.

TOTAL: 11.87 (59.33%) I think Trek Sense is VERY important. :-)

#468-Counterintelligence, Interrupt, BoG
"The Founder posing as Julian Bashir used his position as chief medical officer to gain valuable information for the Dominion, while secretly undermining the efforts of his enemies."
-Plays on your infiltrator. Until end of turn, subtract (rather than add) infiltrator’s classification, skills and attributes from infiltrated crew’s or Away Team’s totals.

PICTURE: All the grays don't look bad here, and though the figures are a little small, that shot of the creepy Bashir Founder looking at Gowron with very little bedside manner is excellent. I don't find the pic that relevant to the game text, though the lore does a good job of placing it into context, but I do like the "targets" in the background. Nice, if low-key, visuals. A 3.5.

LORE: What the picture doesn't say, the lore does. A fair explanation of what's going on, though a little glib about how counterintelligence actually works. That whole part about collecting information for the Dominion, for example, has nothing to do with this card. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: True spies in STCCG are represented by infiltrators. They are the deep cover agents who can snafu your efforts from the inside. That said, Counterintelligence represents an infiltrator using his or her skills to destroy the efforts of the people they are spying on. So for example, while your doctors are working on a cure for that plasma plague, that MEDICAL infiltrator is using its medical skills to sabotage their experiments. It works in a lot of cases, though the interrupt is perhaps a little wide in its effects. For example, how would Youth sabotage Youth (possible if impersonating a captive)? Some skills aren't really skills per se, and so don't work so well here. There's no real problem with this working for only one turn (per interrupt), because it represents a specific sabotage effort, and in any case, the infiltrator could be exposed if it did this sort of thing consistently. There IS a problem with the title of the card though, as Counterintelligence doesn't refer to the counteracting of ANY skill, just those related to espionage (Tal Shiar,etc.). I'm still giving it a good 3.7.

STOCKABILITY: Once you have infilatrated your opponent, you really should use that to your advantage. This interrupt isn't a bad way to do that, since, very importantly, it doesn't expose your infiltrator. So you can keep using it longer. Yes, it only lasts one turn, but that's enough to slow down your opponent during a mission attempt. Stop him or her from solving a mission, or better yet, if you have a good recollection of your dilemma combos, make the Away Team or crew run unprepared into a nasty occurence. The good thing is that your infiltrating Founders all have a large number of skills, multiple classifications, etc. That Bashir Founder can take 2 MEDICALs away from an Away Team (goodbye Genetronic Replicator?); that O'Brien, 2 ENGINEERs! The bad thing is, you have to let the infiltrator attempt the mission, so keep some Flight of the Intruder cards handy if you want to save it from danger. Don't forget that it's not just for the Dominion, the Cardassians have Boone and the Romulans, LaForge. Boone doesn't have a large selection of skills, but he does download Counterintelligence, and will take away the useful ENGINEER and Computer Skill. LaForge Impersonator has a better skill list, but isn't that great for Counterintelligence either. So a good Dominion tool, but not without its risks, which keeps this one at 3.7.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Limited in many ways, but still well above average.

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