To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Call to Arms set.
PICTURE: There's too much green on Voyager-based Borg cards, but in this case, it works well. The sickly yellow of the Queen contrasts well with it, and there's a creepiness to her expression, and the fish-eye effect of the shot. The background remains a bit splotchy for a card about "Order". Compositionally, however, the web of lights leads to the Queen. A good 3.9.
LORE: The subtitle is very good, but I don't much like the quote. Opposing Borg perfection and a "crude environment" is not particularly good writing. Borg perfection is better contrasted with the chaos of the individual, etc. Dropping the score to 2.8.
TREK SENSE: If we compare the 3 Queens we have, this one seems to be the baseline version. The Borg are so different from the rest of us, her skills almost have to be taken as equivalents. For example, as a collective mind, the Borg have no actual leaders, but the Queen's function is as the centre of the hive mind where decisions are actually made. Think of her as that part of your brain. So in effect, she has a Command icon and Leadership. 3 Leadership? Well yes, she leads an entire affiliation in real-time, not just a single ship, etc. The same logic can be used to explain Treachery. After all, the Borg don't really have a sense of morality. There is no right and wrong for them, only achieving their goals. But the means by which they do this (indeed, you might say the goals themselves) are evil to our own eyes, and to those of any species that HAS a sense of right and wrong. As the one that makes these evil decisions, she is responsible (again, not a Borg concept) for the Collective's Treachery. Her Integrity matches that Treachery (drones only get more because they are not the components that make these judgement calls). As the decision centre, she also gets high Cunning (there's lots of information to be aware of), and her Strength represents her robotic body well enough. As for the special skill, let me first chuckle at the fact that it's an "Order" - great riff on the subtitle. The effect itself combines two things from 1E Borg: the Queen's special skill and the Interlink Drone's. She has access to the whole of the Collective, and so to any skill of any assimilated person in it. "Bringing order", in this case, is meant to represent the entire Collective's sudden downloading of any such skill into their conscious brains. For a turn, all Borg in play are tuned to the same set of abilities. It's all a bit glib, of course, since the real Queen could no doubt adjucate different skills to different personnel in different areas, or more than one skill across the board, but the ability has to be balanced somehow. As for the Cost, the Queen should be an expensive personnel because of her importance, but I like that she doesn't reach 5 for exactly that reason - she shouldn't be a luxury, but a necessity. A high 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: We currently have a choice of 3 Queens, but the other two have special abilities that only come into play when facing a dilemma. That puts the Queen in harm's way and is always risky. Bringer of Order, however, has an ability that covers all Borg everywhere, without risking her life. Like I said above, she's a kind of super-Interlink, able to give any skill (including rare or impossible-to-get skills - without assimilation, at any rate - like Empathy, Intelligence, Acquisition and Honor). The skill appears on all Borg, including her, for the length of the turn, so in as many instances as there are Borg personnel at any given location. It costs a discard from the top of the deck (so no wasted counter on drawing the card), and has more flexibility than the similar Interlink drones. What skills you might need for your opponent's dilemmas is a guessing game, sure, and wasting resources on one that won't be useful isn't very good, but there are other reasons to give personnel skills. Astrometrics for Astrometrics Lab, for example, or Leadership for Brutal Struggle/Cry "Havok!"/Disable Sensors/etc. And if you lose an important skill on a mission attempt, you can always get it back remotely without returning to HQ. And if you ARE good at the guessing game, you can double up on the right skill and pass a host of dilemmas. The Queen herself will easily get by all those "2 Leadership" dilemmas. Treachery is also a rare one here, but a skill that gets a lot of copy on dilemmas and other cards (like Shady Resources). Wish I could say her skills are more frequently required of Borg missions, but they're not. Leadership gets a mention as an alternative now and then, but that's it. Perhaps among the "any affiliation may attempt" missions? Pegasus Search has a Treachery requirement, but for those skills, you might as well use Locutus. In fact, that's one of the reasons this Queen may be better than the other two: you don't really need her skills on mission attempts, so you can leave her at the HQ and reap her benefits. And at this point, the Command icon is more of a liability (against Misguided Activist) since no Borg ships require it. I figure around a 4.3.
TOTAL: 15.5 (77.5%) First in score order, at least for now.
PICTURE: Again, tons of green, but distinctive enough from that other Queen, Bringer of Order, and not just because she's played by a different actress (the much preferred Alice Krige, thank you). The sickly green light burns the lense, causing some weird (unwanted?) blue artifacts, but the effect is cool. She looks like a creepy, beatified religious leader. A good mix of sf and gothic, I think it's the best Queen so far at 4.2.
LORE: The Queen making a bid at understanding humanity (or Janeway, at least). It's a fun line, and one that's more sympathetic than most of her dialogue over the years. The subtitle likewise makes this the "good" Queen. Hits 3.6.
TREK SENSE: "Good" Queen, she may be, but she's still Treacherous :-). Well, she still should be, but the attribute difference is what makes her more "good". Integrity set at 4 indicates someone who is loyal to her own, but not at all to other parties. As "Guardian of the Hive", this version of the Queen is more concerned with protecting the Collective and its constituents (where others are concerned more with assimilation or mission solving). To quickly mention other elements that are standard for any Queen, we've got the 3 Leadership, which represents total control over all Borg everywhere, all at the same time. The Command icon works similarly: While she's not a leader in the classic sense, she's that part of the Collective consciousness that makes the decisions, so it amounts to the same thing. The high Cunning speaks of that multi-tasking intelligence, and the Strength covers her cybernetic enhancements well (she's still a non-combattant). And there's the Cost, that's at the right level, high because she's so important, but not so high as to make her prohibitive. And now we come to the special ability... What she's able to do, basically, is reprogram drones to better handle the dilemma at hand. It's tangentially a "Guardian" ability, but not all that well focused on the subtitle. The mechanics are likewise fuzzy: With the entire Collective at her beck and call, why can she only access drones that have been discarded (destroyed)? I suppose it might be because the discard pile proves that the Borg have adapated THIS far, while drones that have not yet come out perhaps haven't been developped yet. Still, you'd think she'd have access to the abilities of drones actually in play. The reprogrammed drone's skill package goes into the discard pile (same place she took the new package), though assimilated drones (from opposing Borg) would be dumped in THEIR owners' discard piles, their "individuality" lost forever (I dunno). Enough here for a strong 4.4.
STOCKABILITY: Skillwise, this Queen is no more interesting than the others, in that Locutus remains the better personnel to use them in mission solving. The Command icon remains a drawback for the moment, with no Borg ships that require it yet, and one dilemma that hoses it (Misguided Activist). Attributes are good, with Integrity one higher than other Queens. So the pressure's all on the special ability, since the rest is comparable to other Queens. Switching a drone around at every dilemma is actually a pretty useful ability, depending on what you have available in the discard pile. Many drones might be available, in fact, thanks to all the discards you might have to make to enable Interlinks and the like (Facilitation Drone, Regeneration Alcoves, etc.). So you encounter a dilemma that requires a skill you don't have but can be found in the discard pile: Queenie makes a switch. You just lost an important drone (like a unique): Next dilemma, Queenie gets it back for the price of a Cost 1 sacrificial lamb. Nothing fits the dilemma at hand, but solving the mission is next: Queenie makes sure you have those requirements ready. And so on. Nice flexibility. Of course, the skill-giving powers of the Bringer of Order version might still inch out this Queen. Her powers don't require putting her in harm's way, and still spark of mission-solving flexibility. Also, if running an assimilation deck against other Borg, you could stand to lose assimilates to their previous owner's discard pile, never to return. But in those cases, you might well be using the Perfectionist Queen, so it doesn't matter as much. All things considered, a 4.2.
TOTAL: 16.4 (82%) Best Queen of the lot, taken for all her parts.
PICTURE: The Sphere traveling through a transwarp tunnel is a fun idea, though looking at it closely shows off the limits of the digital effects. Much of it is blurry, the Sphere in particular. It flies because the whole thing is supposed to be in motion, and this IS a cool way to present a quick, scout-like ship. A 3.6.
LORE: Using the same formula as the Borg Cube (and that of the drones for that matter) gives these cards immense flavor. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Smaller than the Cube, it takes one less personnel to staff it (all Staffs since that's what all drones have), Costs one less counter, and has weaker attributes. And yet, it's still immense when compared to many non-Borg ships. Still fast, still powerful, still tough. And this is a major change from 1E! That card was judged based only on the ship's performance in First Contact, where it was little more than a shuttle. In Voyager, we saw more dangerous Spheres, and so the ship deserved a revision. If we accept the premises set forth by the Cube, like Cost that seems disproportionate to power (it's because the Borg are so advanced) and low staffing compared to actual number of crew (anything else would be hard for the game to handle), then the Sphere can do no worse. A 4.
STOCKABILITY: Ok, so it's not as powerful as the universal Cube, but it can still take on most non-Borg ships. I compare it to the USS Defiant (+1 Range, -1 Shields), but it Cost 2 counters fewer and 1 Staffing less. Actually, it's better than that on Staffing, since Staff icons are less finicky than Command icons, and besides, all drones have it, and they are very easy to report (even to the Sphere with Regeneration Alcoves). So the 4 Staff icons will never be a problem. For 1 Staff more and 1 counter more, however, you could be putting a Cube out there. If you're thrifty, the Sphere, but the Cube is so much better that I don't necessarily see the point. When most of your personnel are weenies, well, counters aren't as hard to come by. Of course, with the 3-copies-per-card limit, you don't want to needlessly wait for a cube to come up in a large draw deck, and a Sphere bypasses Sensing a Trap targeting a Cube. I am gonna give it a 3.5, with the hope that something plays off Spheres eventually.
TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) Really not that far behind the Cube.
PICTURE: Cool angle, and you really don't want to be staring up at Jem'Hadar in this way. The color palette is a unified dirty gold, which I like as well. Not a great image, perhaps, but it has some flair, so a 3.5.
LORE: The title is more true for the Jem'Hadar than anyone that expression has every described before (though it's a cross-over title from the Lord of the Rings CCG). The quote itself makes them even meaner, although it seems to describe torture more than battle. Jem'Hadar don't really let their victims suffer, do they? Not more than 3.
TREK SENSE: A combat permission slip for Jem'Hadar, it's got a few things
going for it. This would not include the relatively light casualties incurred
on the other side. You'd expect Jemmies to accumulate a much greater death
toll. What does work great is that non-Jem'Hadar are excluded from the
combat. Perfect! Changelings and Vorta do not normally battle. That's why
the former bred the Jem'Hadar in the first place. The Cost is of interest
as well. 1 counter only, showing that they are easily Bred by the Dominion,
with 2 discards actually representing the start of the battle. Discards
act as the trigger, so to speak, a cost beyond the cloning. Conceptual,
but Cost almost always is. The Jemmies can battle again and again on this
card, since it doesn't discard after use. So not enough death in their
wake, but other elements rehabilitate the card up to 3.4.
1E TREK SENSE: No permission slip required, of course, but the other effects, when laid over a personnel battle, actually enhance story-telling. And in 1E, you get a lot more death, fixing that problem. A much higher 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: An interesting combat permission card, it'll obviously
work best in a deck with lots of Jem'Hadar (often easy to replace with
the Birthing Chamber, and useful in large numbers because a few cards key
off their voluntary and involuntary deaths). Combat started using this
card will exclude non-Jem'Hadar, which puts you at a disadvantage because
even a low-Strength Vorta (for example) nonetheless adds his or her Strength
to the total required to win. I suppose one advantage of this Event over
other Dominion-related ones that don't have this restriction is the Cost.
Only 1? Yes, but there are discards to consider. Still, this is a totally
different way of paying for the card, borrowing on your future, in a sense.
Pay 1 now (only once, since it isn't discard when used, very efficient,
that), and then later, when you need to begin combat, pay for a couple
extra draws or just deplete your hand. The Dominion has other avenues of
battle, usually with either points or some other effect in addition to
a kill, but you can only ever stock 3 of each card, so more options is
good, and this one sticks around. Then, there are the tricks you can pull,
like for example beaming down a single Jem'Hadar with the Stone of Gol,
killing one personnel with the Stone, but losing the fight; repeat until
you CAN win the combat with remaining personnel or are out of cards. An
1E STOCKABILITY: In an environment that doesn't require permission for personnel battle, this type of card nevertheless adds a little something. In this case, the removal of non-Jem'Hadar to the battle is a plus: a kind of more inclusive Bodyguards effect. In 1E, Vorta and even changelings tend to brave death (or mortal wounds) during battle, and you'd actually want them to sit one out sometimes. Jem'Hadar are usually strong enough to cause a lot of damage by themselves. With all the stuns/mortal wounds you avoid this way (and incur on the other side), you stand a good chance of winning even without the extra firepower. Another good thing is that the death provided by this card is in addition to any other deaths from normal 1E battle. It's basically a second death at the end. There is the discard cost to think about. Saving on counters is irrelevant in 1E, so a cost like this can be troublesome (in that it is rarely required by actual 1E cards). The event stays in play, so all you need to affect your current personnel battle this way is pay the discards. Deyos may be of help there. We wind up with a good 3.6.
TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Let's just say it's balanced.
1E TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) Sometimes they just work better in 1E.
PICTURE: The odd angle is interesting, with Weyoun's smarmy expression being in focus as he's speaking. The distance between him and the Jem'Hadar actually puts him out on that Bridge of his, puts a Vorta first in mission solving, and the resulting composition is pretty fun. A 3.8.
LORE: Weyoun's self-serving purple prose is a great deal of fun, putting social niceties forward as a reason for a private discussion. As usual, the Vorta manage to be obvious without saying it in an obvious way. A good enough match to the game text too. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Ok, it's a given that you need to be playing the Dominion
to use this tactic, proven by the number of Dominion personnel you have
in play. The Event makes Vorta good manipulators who, in the process of
completing a mission, manage to "get what they want". What they want is
one of their opponent's resources to use as their own (each), or, since
cards in hand and deck are abstract, making opponent's hand and you draw
deck interchangeable (your resource X is my resource Y). An interesting
idea, though of course, there is a conceptual aspect to all this. For one
thing, each mission is not a "Bridge" to your opponent. Well, the Vorta
are good enough plotters that they could manipulate events that seem unrelated,
but actually are. Remember the Dominion plot uncovered by the Jack Pack?
It smacks of this. That example can even be used to explain how ALL opponents
can lose a card, since the aforementioned plot would have affected all
the Alpha Quadrant affiliations at the same time. One iffy aspect is that
the Vorta needs to use a skill, an attribute not being enough. I suppose
skills are more active, but seems to me Vorta using Cunning could be elligible.
The Cost is low, which works in the sense that the Vorta are mostly doing
this through brief meetings, and manipulation is in their nature. On the
other hand, it may seem slight when we use a lot of the "far-reaching plot"
justifications above. As for being unique, that's just to keep the card
from being cumulative, which keeps it in check, especially since each Vorta
that helps is running his or her own little agenda. That's fine. A very
reasonable addition to the Dominion's bag of tricks, which sets them up
as good mission solvers whose missions have a secret opponent-hosing agenda.
1E TREK SENSE: No change other than losing the Cost element, about which I was ambivalent anyway, and the idea of multiple opponents. Well, I'll give the same 4.
STOCKABILITY: A cheap Event that's totally worth it. Vorta are good
skill horses, with a wide variety of skills, and it should be pretty easy
to tailor your missions to these. Each time you complete a mission using
their skills, you get a card draw right then and there for every Vorta
that helped, and your opponents (all of them) must discard the same amount
of cards from hand. You get a bonus, they get a penalty. Yee-haw! The only
thing that could keep this card down is that completing missions is probably
only gonna happen 3 times per game, with the last one being the game ender
(so who cares?). If Building a Bridge comes out later than sooner, you
might already have completed a mission. The trick is to use as many Vorta
as possible (one per skill listed, ideally) to get massive card draws and
cause massive discards. Other cards help you protect and save the Vorta,
which are instrumental to using this card. A large burst of draws/discards
a couple of times per game for a Cost of only 1, that's pretty cool. A
1E STOCKABILITY: Vorta aren't quite as protectable in 1E, but massive discards can be much more debilitating there. After all, you can't just buy your hand back up. Looking at Dominion missions, I should think it would be possible to frequently get some 4 Vorta to each contribute a skill. That really takes down a hand. Heavy card draws make you susceptible to Scorched Hand, and that card CAN be Ref-Qed even if it's probably no longer in hand. Various trade-offs leave us at 3.9.
TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) A sound design.
1E TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) Still.
PICTURE: I know I rail a lot against the stark greens of Voyager Borg, but this one works for me, and that's because of the green control column that would be the practical source of that color. The background has some nice depth too. On the flipside, the pic's a little grainy, which happens with stark lighting. A 3.4.
LORE: Standard Borg lore. Well done, but lackluster. The same can be said of the drone's name, I guess. A 3.
TREK SENSE: The Collective's resources are its cards - your cards. And
that's how you justifiy this drone's special ability. You inspect the resources
in hand (i.e. ready for use), you cycle them back into the pool of possible
resources in hand, and draw the same number of new resources. I GUESS this
is optimization, but the new hand may be far from optimized in fact. To
optimize your hand, Calibration Drone would have to be able to keep your
best cards in hand and draw the amount cycled. It doesn't, it just gets
you another random hand. There's also no reason why the drone should sacrifice
itself for this function, though the discard could represent finding a
cozy alcove and doing the work as a "Bob Drone". As for the skills, I suppose
they're tied to types of resources the drone has information about. Geology
represents the minerals the Collective has access to (to build ships, for
example, and implants). Biology represents the Collective's manpower. Archaeology,
well, is possibly meant to represent Artifact-type resources, but since
we never see that kind of resource on the show, I'm gonna have to say it's
only passable. Engineer might have been a better choice to represent, say,
Equipment resources. The slightly elevated Cost is fine for this drone's
function, and, well, the attributes are Borg-standard and unimpeachable.
Enough iffy stuff for a low 2.5.
1E TREK SENSE: Because it coordinates resources, it's fair for this drone to be part of the Communications subcommand. The low Integrity here, while not a huge problem, does deviate from the 1E Borg drone norm. The Staffing icon does too, but that won't come up as an issue in the game. The rest sticks, though you could say that thanks to the Borg's card-draw-to-download conversions, the drone "optimizes" things a lot more. Leaves us at 2.4 this time.
STOCKABILITY: Drones are a dime a dozen, easy to get into play, and
easy to cycle in and out of play. So it doesn't matter much if Calibration
Drone gives its life for its cycling effect, Borg Queen/Guardian can always
bring it back. Discard it and you can cycle your entire hand into your
deck (shuffled and at the bottom) to draw an equal number of (better?)
cards. For those times when you just can't draw what you presently need,
and you should probably play what you CAN from that hand before discarding
the drone. The drone also has 3 good skills. Nothing major, but useful
enough. Biology's a bit more common, but the other two aren't really. The
Cost is well-matched to the ability, but remember that Queenie can replace
a Cost 1 Drone for him, so as to save you some counters on repeat appearances.
I'm gonna go with a 3.6 overall.
1E STOCKABILITY: A rare backwards-compatible Borg personnel, the Calibration Drone's special skill is, here too, a good one. A few Borg in this environment can turn card draws into downloads (the original Borg Queen, Connectivity Drone, Countermeasure Drone, Procurement Drone, Quantum Drone and Transwarp Done) so that drawing an entire hand can be quite beneficial. Since card draws can't be paid for like in 2E, they are harder to come by, although here, they are upon sacrifice of your current hand, which is harder to get rid of if it is riddled with useless cards. The downloadables can be cycled harmlessly, since they still end up in the draw deck. It helps that the Calibration Drone has the Communications icon, as it is probably the best (though Defense comes close) and offers a great number of opportunities using other cards. And what about that Staff icon? Useless (unless you have 3 Staffers, but not 3 Defense Borg when encountering Oops!). Regular skills are good, though Archaeology is less useful than the others for passing dilemmas. Not sure the 2-point drop in INTEGRITY is that much of an issue. A decimal up to 3.7.
TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) Lowest Borg yet, but they've always done rather
1E TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) Same score, but not as far down here.
#2115-Camping Trip, Mission, planet, Gamma Quadrant, unique /CtA/
-Biology, Geology, Science, Cunning>34, and (Acquisition or Honor)
-You may attempt and complete this mission using your [Dom] personnel with these requirements: Anthropology, Intelligence, Security, Treachery, and Cunning>34.
*Forested planet: Conduct a planetary survey during a "working vacation."
-Bajoran/Federation/Ferengi; 35 points; Span: 2
PICTURE: The same image used for the 1E version of this same card, and I see
no reason to evaluate it any differently. So to recap, we've got too much shadow
for what is basically an innocuous mission (though the Dominion's presence here
could account for it), and a little forest green would have been prefered to all
this blue, at least, if we go by the episode. So a 2.7 again.
LORE: Not a quote, but contains a couple words in quotation marks from the root episode. The planet is still anonymous, but the text is geared toward explaining the somewhat silly title, a flaw of the original version. Consequently, an above average 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Biology, Geology and Science are just what you need to do a survey of a planet, and Cunning WOULD be the controling attribute, yes. This Camping Trip starts out as a survey mission, but also becomes a first meeting with the Dominion, which may explain the last skill, as well as the higher-than-expected point bounty. The choice of skills there could represent the way you reach out at the Dominion. Feds and Bajorans might reach out with Honor, i.e. friendship, while Ferengi would try to open mercantile negotiations with Acquisition (or according to the personnel cards, I don't really want to play the stereotypes). The three affiliations that can attempt it are based on the personnel from the episode (since Sisko can be considered Bajoran as well), but there's no real reason why other affiliations shouldn't have access to this. Span's short, but the planet was very close to the Wormhole, which explains it. As for the Dominion, it too can attempt the mission, since, after all, the affiliation did participate as the antagonist. Bimodal missions are an excellent idea as far as Trek Sense goes, allowing affiliations to basically defend against opponents in their own territory. So for the Dominion, this is a first contact with an Alpha Quadrant affiliation (or affiliations). They need Anthropology to study the newly encountered culture. Intelligence, Security and Treachery are all related to the Dominion's reaction, defensive and untrusting. They'll spy on the group, inserting a Vorta or changeling agent near the crew. Cunning is still the order of the day, using a number of ruses to protect themselves and disinform the opponent. So overall? An excellent 4.5.
SEEDABILITY: A solid mission for a number of affiliations, including the eventual Ferengi (currently only part of the Terok Nor affiliation) and, with alternate requirements, the Dominion. As far as the Alpha Quadrant affiliations go, the Span keeps this at a reasonable 4 (with the +2). Note that any of the current GQ planet missions are this short an entryway into the quadrant, so no particular advantage goes to Camping Trip for this. The requirements are simple enough for Science types (and Seyetik-friendly), with the other skills often figuring together. Cunning should be easy enough to accumulate with those personnel. Oddly, all three skills don't yet figure on any of the relevant personnel here, but that's not a big deal. The last skill will most often be Honor, but Acquisition, if you have it, will serve. At least, the Ferengi will have that option when they (dishonorably) come into their own later. For the Dominion, this is a better mission. They have no dearth of Intelligence, Security and Treachery, nor of Cunning. Anthropology isn't all that rare either. Best bet is to mostly use Vorta and Founders, several of them having 3 of the required skills. Plus, it's in the GQ, same as their HQ. Good for the Alpha Quadrant, quite excellent for the Dominion: a 3.7.
TOTAL: 14.1 (70.5%) A nice little vacation.
#2128-Cartography Drone, Personnel, Borg, Cost: 1 /CtA/
-Borg; Engineer; Staff icon
-Drone; Interlink: Astrometrics. (While this personnel is attempting a mission, you may discard the top card of your deck to make each of your Borg gain Astrometrics until the end of that mission attempt.)
"Task: Review collected information on known space. Expand."
-INTEGRITY: 5, CUNNING: 5, STRENGTH: 5
PICTURE: Just another drone, y'know? I wish they were more distinctive, but by this point... The strong blue lighting is that, but there isn't much that tells us he's into Cartography. The card just gets a washed out look that's acceptable, but not impressive. A 3.
LORE: Your usual Borg lore, which does a good job of describing his function, and as you'll see, it helped me with Trek Sense. A 3.3.
TREK SENSE: While a Cartography Drone should have Astrometrics (the new name of Stellar Cartogarphy), and while I still think the 2E Interlink is an elegant solution to Borg skill sharing, it may seem strange here that the Cartography Drone doesn't have Astrometrics unless it expends the proper energy and shares the skill. Where is it to share? Here's my answer: Since the Drone reviews collected information, it must first plug into the Collective for it to share the data with it. The Collective shares the charts, and the Drone shares the skill. Took me a second to wrap my brain around it, but rereading the lore helped. I don't quite find Engineer to be as satisfying, since stellar cartography is more of a Science skill than Engineer. The rest is classic Borg Drone and unimpeachable. One iffy choice, and the score drops to a 3.1.
STOCKABILITY: The Interlink remains an important function for the Borg because they usually have fewer skills between them. Cartography Drone's Engineer is undisputably excellent, but it's the Astrometrics that can be gained by every Borg including itself that's of interest here. As usual, you need to discard from the top of your deck, and multiple discards give multiple instances of the skill (say, to pass Wavefront). Yes, the skill is on its fair share of dilemmas, but you'll also find it on a couple of Borg missions, such as Chart Stellar Cluster, Evade Borg Vessel and Instruct Advanced Drone, often with Engineer. The discards this causes can be used by Queenie/Guardian of the Hive to get at certain Drones, and other sources of Astrometrics are all more costly. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) That was easy to map out.
#2141-Cavalry Raid, Event, Cost: 3 /CtA/
-Plays in your core. When an engagement in which an opponent's personnel was killed ends, you may destroy this event to unstop each of your [Kli] personnel and [Kli] ships involved and restore all Range those ships have used this turn. You cannot begin any other engagements this turn.
"I don't intend to destroy the base, just damage it. Throw them off balance, then move on to the next target."
PICTURE: Though the bird-of-prey is going by too fast to be seen in detail
(that's totally appropriate!), we get a really good look at the outpost model.
Nice scenary too. I totally endorse this sunlit action pic - a 4.3.
LORE: Explains the tactic well enough, and the title is evocative. A solid 3.4.
TREK SENSE: This retro-engineers a Cavalry Raid out of any engagement that kills a personnel, and right there is where we encounter problems. For one, the quote specifically mentions damage, and yet placing a Damage card on a ship is not a suitable trigger. Why not? The other problem is that engagements invariably target ships, which isn't impossible in the context of a Cavalry Raid, but the fact there are no facilities in 2E takes away from the concept. The rest works much better however. Whatever casualties you caused, the engagement was a precise hit-and-run and no more. Your ships don't stick around for more fighting, they immediately warp away. Range is restored, the ship and personnel are all unstopped, etc. No more engagements, that's sound, but perhaps it's a bit much that the ship that just conducted the attack can still leisurely attempt a mission with its unstopped cards. Where does the crew find the time? That this is Klingon-only isn't a problem, they're the ones we saw employing the tactic. As for the Cost, it's agreeable too: this would put strain on both personnel and ship systems, and could be difficult to pull off. Though I have reservations, the basic concept is good enough for a 3.3.
STOCKABILITY: The Klingons have tons of Maneuvers, and work well in battle, but only a few of them actually constitute round-the-corner strategies. Usually, you're not gonna score points from engagements, so why go out of your way to hurt your opponent, when you could be completing missions instead? Why not do both? Piggy-back a Cavalry Raid on the end of a successful All-Out War, Cry Havok, Ferocity, Heart of Glory, No Peace in Our Time, Power to the Weapons or We Will Not Surrender (see? plenty to choose from), and then use your revitalized Range to go to one of your missions and attempt it. At the very least, you can make it harder for your opponent to engage your ship in battle on their own turn (or impossible, if running to your HQ). A bit Costly, but the Maneuvers often aren't. Giving the Klingons a bit more speed, it gets a 3.7.
TOTAL: 14.7 (73.5%) The Cavalry is coming!
#2154-Changeling Sabotage, Event, Cost: 1 /CtA/
-Infiltration; Plays in your core.
-Order: If your Infiltrator is aboard opponent's undamaged ship, return that Infiltrator to his or her owner's hand to place a Damage card from hand aboard that ship.
"They've attached themselves to the command and communication relays, the internal sensors, the transporter, the deflector shield grid, almost every critical system."
PICTURE: The autonomic systems parasite has the disadvantage of not looking like damage, but if you know those optical fibers are choking the ship's systems, you get the idea. Very colorful and visually exciting (for a static prop shot, I mean), but I'm not sure it best represents the concept, seeing as the parasite was used to take over the ship, not really damage it per se. Given that, I won't go above 2.4.
LORE: Talking about the systems parasite still doesn't talk about damage. The list of critical systems identifies targets for the Sabotage, but again, no more than that. A 2.5 for low relevance.
TREK SENSE: Let's start by exorcising my issue with pic and lore right now - Trek Sense suffers there because if we're talking about Changeling Sabotage, then it stands to reason Changelings do it differently from other species. Acknowledging the system parasites would have been one way to do that. Nope, instead, it's just simple Sabotage, and despite the title, it can be used by any affiliation, whether their Infiltrator is a Changeling or not. If you forget all about the Changelings and their agendas (simple damage is small fry to them), this works fine as a Sabotage card. You have an Infiltrator aboard a ship, it throws a sabot in the machinery, and the ship is now damaged, in whatever way you wanted to damage it (according to the Damage card used). The ship must be undamaged, because the Infiltrator isn't suicidal and wouldn't destroy the ship (or really, actually need to damage an already damaged ship). As to how the Infiltrator slips away after that (going back to hand), that's less clear. It is aboard a ship, after all. That could be the Changeling part of this Event actually, if Changelings can generally escape into outer space unharmed (as per "Chimera"). But otherwise, where does the Infiltrator go, and why doesn't it have the option of sticking around and causing more trouble. Cost is ok - since your Infiltrator is there, it shouldn't be too hard to create a problem, but is perhaps on the cheap side, especially since the Event isn't destroyed upon use. It's easier for Changelings obviously, but again, I point to the fact that non-Dominion Infiltrators aren't Changelings. A lot of holes gets us to 2.1.
STOCKABILITY: Normally, to damage a ship, you would have to either do so with a dilemma (subject to being overcome) or through an engagement. Engagements that cause damage all cost (for the moment) either 2 or 3 counters. Changeling Sabotage would allow you to damage a ship for only 1 counter, and the card remains in play for you to damage yet another ship for no extra Cost. Well, there are other costs involved, aren't there? First, you've got to get that Infiltrator aboard an opponent's ship. Anything or Anyone costs 3, but Enemy in Your Midst, harder to make work, costs only 1. Once the damage is done (and you must have the card in hand), the Infiltrator returns to your hand and would need to be played again, possibly be sent to opponent's ship again. That all has a Cost. Still, you don't need to divert a ship's mission to damage your opponent's ship and either reduce its attributes or prevent its crew from attempting missions. Indeed, it allows you to use Borg Cutting Beam's more massive Damage even if you are not using Borg. The Infiltrator is returned to hand, but that just means it's a good exit strategy from a ship that's already in trouble, as a precursor to being destroyed. The Cost of 1 is definitely good, and it might even be 0 if you have the Leyton Founder at an opponent's mission. A potable 3.6.
TOTAL: 10.6 (53%) Some categories are rather unforgiving.
#2167-Clash at Chin'toka, Mission, space, Alpha Quadrant, unique, BC /CtA/
-Engineer, Leadership, Navigation, Officer, and Cunning>36
*Chin'toka system: Battle for control of this strategically significant system on the edge of territory held by the Dominion.
-Cardassian/Dominion/Federation/Klingon/Romulan; 35 points; Span: 3
PICTURE: A truly gorgeous space battle shot, this is a mission that looks like no other. Just the idea of riding the tail of the Defiant... Really cool. Great graphics all around, I'm giving this one a 4.5.
LORE: Gives us enough details and everything, though yes, quotes are nicer. Your standard 3.
TREK SENSE: All the players from the Dominion War are included in the affiliations that can participate in this Clash, and the strategic importance of the place is given a nod in the above average points to be scored. Could still have been higher, but only with greater requirements. Span's fine. This is a battle that was interesting because of weapons platforms used by Dominion and Cardassian forces, requiring both Engineer and plenty of Cunning to set up (if you're the bad guys) or counter (if you're the good guys). Officers Lead you into battle. Navigation is important for not getting caught in crossfire. It all checks out, though this is an odd one because you can't have the Clash without a ton of ships being present. Yet, you only bring one to the table. Here's how I figure that works: Just like on the show, we're following only a few characters, and at this mission, only one ship. It's that ship's mission to PARTICIPATE in the Clash (and succeed). Other ships are there, but offstage. So there you have it, and as for the score, I give a 4.
1E TREK SENSE: The only change is that attemptability icons allow each of those affiliations to seed outposts here, but it wouldn't do to put one of the good guys' in a Dominion/Cardassian-controlled system. A small drop to 3.8.
SEEDABILITY: Nothing too difficult as far as requirements go, with Officer, Leadership and/or Navigation frequenly appearing together. And though most affiliations can attempt it, your wish to do so may rely on the Cunning your affiliation is packing. The Feds have some high-Cunning personnel like Data and the mutants to help out with things, while the Klingons aren't as smart. Yet, they can use Warrior's Birthright to attempt with Strength instead. Usually, personnel will hover in the 5-to-7 range, so it takes anywhere from 6 to 8 personnel to usually beat 36. Otherwise though, relatively easy and for some good points. A 3.6 useable by 5 affiliations.
1E SEEDABILITY: With 5 possible affiliations, you better protect yourself from theft with Fair Play, but otherwise, it plays much the same. In this environment, the skills are even more commonly found, and CUNNING is generally higher. 35 points is still good, and some affiliations can even use Assign Mission Specialists to boost these to as much as 50 (the Feds). Due to the larger pool of missions in 1E, the score remains at 3.6.
TOTAL: 15.1 (75.5%) War is bad, but this mission's good.
1E TOTAL: 14.9 (74.5%) Barely a difference.
#2181-Close Call, Dilemma, planet, Cost: 2, BC /CtA/
-Unless you have 2 Diplomacy and Security or 2 Programming and Transporters, randomly select an Engineer personnel to be killed.
"Although the reflexes and agility of a Jem'Hadar soldier are without peer, a transporter's matter-stream dissociation takes place within 0.94 seconds of engaging the primary energizing coils."
PICTURE: The colors are a little
psychadelic, what with the glowing pink, green and blue, and that is ultimately
the card's downfall. The pic was already going to be rife with effects, and the
busy background just makes for a confusing overall image. I make it out to sound
worse than it is, but it's still only a 2.7.
LORE: The title is less about the dilemma and more of a comment on the way out of it. Aside from that, we don't get a quote here, but a nice little statistic about transporters. I guess the real dilemma is dealing with people shooting at you. You only HOPE it's a Close Call. With the possible confusion, a 2.9.
TREK SENSE: So they're shooting at you (be they Jem'Hadar or other gun-totting aliens). Somebody could get killed, and that somebody could be an Engineer. Is there a reason it's an Engineer more than someone else, other than the fact that O'Brien is pictured on the card? Well, we might say that the chosen solution is to beam out of there using onsite equipment. This IS a planet dilemma, after all. So the Engineer is in harm's way. Can he (or she) get the transporter running in time to beam out of the crossfire (and apparently elsewhere on the planet, since there's no beam-up to a ship in orbit)? With 2 Programming and Transporters, yes he does. Breaks through the natives' codes, and beams the lot out of danger. Without those skills, the crew could still defend the Engineer with Security and use 2 Diplomacy to stop the firing long enough for the Engineer to finish the work. Two acceptable solutions. Cost/Danger Factor is a bit low for a gun battle, but maybe the fact that the transporter equipment is available is a mitigating factor. An interesting 4.2.
1E TREK SENSE: Similar comments,
though Cost is no longer an issue, and now we must deal with the dilemma's
staying power. It seems rather strange that this dilemma could stop your Away
Team, allow you to leave (beaming out) and return to the very same situation
where you once again need to use the local transporter. This piece of nonsense
drops the score to 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: Though the kill is random, it is specific to Engineers, so this is the kind of lead-in you need to have for dilemmas that require Engineers, like A Devil Scorned, Cave-In and Houdini Mines. And it's pretty cheap too. Of course, dilemmas all have second, alternative requirements that avoid Engineer, so nothing is foolproof. Close Call has requirements too, but they aren't that easy. The first set might prove difficult for expansions low on Diplomacy, and the second because of the rarer Transporters. Not too hard, then, but at least specific enough you can try to create combos on the fly. And with enough skills listed to make Overwhelmed worthwhile. A 3.5.
1E STOCKABILITY: Easier to build
combos in 1E, and there are fewer instances of alternative requirements on
dilemmas. That spells success for Close Call, even though IT has two sets of
requirements. The Transporter Skill might prove difficult here too (though we
can hardly say that about Computer Skill x2), so the first set is probably the
one to go with. 2 Diplomacy might still be hard to come up, could be weeded out
of the Away Team with Blended, for example, and is hardly a companion to
SECURITY. Taking out an ENGINEER is excellent, and makes for a good lead-in to
Duonetic Field Generator, Spatial Rift and Theta-Radiation Poisoning. A good
dilemma for the ENGINEER-heavy DQ spacelines. I'd say there are still too many
ways to overcome it, but the effect is useful. Hits 3.6.
TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) I like it, and then I don't, and then I do.
1E TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) Close to as much, but not quite.
#2195-Computation Drone, Personnel, Borg, Cost: 2, BC (Nav) /CtA/
-Borg; Navigation, Programming; Staff icon
-Drone; Each of your other Borg present is Cunning +1.
"Task: Evaluate analytical efficiency of Borg drones. Improve."
-INTEGRITY: 5, CUNNING: 6, STRENGTH: 5
PICTURE: The haze that makes this
Drone's head disappear from sight is the only bad element here, with the pose
otherwise inspiring the idea of Borg plugged into the machinery,
"computing". I also like the depth of the background and the strange
lighting. But you can't lose the character's face, and here, it's smudgy.
Maintains a 3.
LORE: In the usual Borg format, it works without a hitch and ties in very well with the special ability. No real flash, of course. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Programming is an obvious and necessary choice for this Drone, but I have to wonder at the Navigation. As we'll see, in 1E, his subcommand would inspire the skill, but how is it part of its function here? Even if we believe that it can compute coordinates and the like, nothing in its task would seem to direct it to do that. The special ability is much better, thankfully, with the "improvement" to "analytical efficiency" turning up as a Cunning boost, a boost which the Drone has already given itself (or maybe its task means it has to be smarter than the average Drone). Pooling brain power has to be one of the advantages of a hive mind, so this is a natural for Borg. The higher-than-usual Cost ties in with this idea that the Computation Drone is an important cog in the Collective machine. Navigation remains the only problem here, keeping the score back at 3.7.
1E TREK SENSE: As mentioned above,
Navigation can here be explained as being part of the Navigation subcommand, and
yet, I have to contest this choice. Being linked to all those Borg and boosting
their brain power is more in line with the Communications subcommand, isn't it?
Throw in that the drone is actually dumber than other Nav drones, and you drop
the score to a 3 here.
STOCKABILITY: With Drones featuring 5-5-5 attributes across the board, a way to boost ANY attribute is welcome. In the case of Cunning, it's featured prominently on some of the Borg missions, like Harness Omega Particle (49+ please), Plot Invasion, Assault on Species 8472, Chart Stellar Cluster, Destroy Transwarp Hub, Evade Borg Vessel and Instruct Advanced Drone. That's all but one of them, actually! Computation Drone is cumulative, so each one gives you a +1, and there is no upward limit, only what you're ready to pay for. Its two skills are pretty routine, but fit easily in the Borg mission profile. A strong 4.
1E STOCKABILITY: No missions and less
reliance on CUNNING, Computation Drone may come in handy during dilemmas, but
not as much in other situations. The boost you'll get will only rarely save your
Borg from the Airlock, for example, and how many times are you going to need
Locutus to beat Crimson Forcefield? The two skills are very common and
lackluster, and there's a point missing from the attributes when compared to 1E
drones. There's still a use for this guy, but he's nowhere as important as he
was in 2E. A 3.3.
TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Computes.
1E TOTAL: 12.4 (62%) Does not compute.
#2209-Confined to Quarters, Dilemma, space, Cost: 3, BC /CtA/
-Randomly select three personnel. If any of those personnel has Leadership, all three are stopped.
"As first officer, it is my responsibility to point out any actions that may be mistakes by a commanding officer. Sir." "Then maybe it's time you found other responsibilities. You're relieved."
PICTURE: While I find the pic appropriate and could readily tell you from what episode it comes from, the colors are absolutely yucky, and there's not much going on. The idea of focusing on an officer's address is interesting, and it almost comes INTO focus here. The aesthetic elements keep it down, but I don't dislike it. A 2.8.
LORE: An abrupt, tense conversation between XO and CO, and I especially love the forced "Sir". Shows off the importance of punctuation. A 4.
TREK SENSE: By rights, this dilemma should detain a non-Captain, non-Gul (etc.) personnel, but the game doesn't really support the military hierarchy of the show. What we get instead is rather hard to get a grasp on. We randomly select three personnel, they will be in a scene together. If one (or more) of them has Leadership, they have an argument about the Leader's orders, and it ends badly. Stopping all three of them as a result causes three problems for me. 1) Why are there three of them in the first place? The example given features only two personnel. 2) Only the disagreeing personnel is Confined to Quarters (which may mean the two other than the Leader), so the idea that the arguement itself is the stopping event goes against the title and concept. 3) The arguement as the stopping event goes against the example given, where Jellico didn't lose much time at all Confining Riker to Quarters. I'm not too keen on the Danger Factor either, since it's debatable whether dissention in the ranks like this is that dangerous (we're not at the mutiny level here). It's a proper cost for a triple-stopper, mind you, but as a mark of danger, not so much. Drowns in these questions and only gets 1.7.
1E TREK SENSE: Cost isn't an issue here, but otherwise, the dilemma reads pretty much the same. A slight hitch to 1.8.
STOCKABILITY: Usually, when a dilemma mentions a common skill, it's not worth as much. Confined to Quarters turns that on its head by making the skill's lack of rarity a plus. Leadership is quite common (especially in space since ship Commanders usually have the skill), and in a pool of three randomly selected personnel, should be easy to get. If there's at least one Leadership personnel, all three personnel are stopped as the rest of the crew heads into the next dilemma with at least one less Leadership (and minus 3 personnel's worth of skills and attributes). A Leadership dilemma, like Command Decisions, for example, could follow more efficiently. Any dilemma would be more efficient after this, actually. The Cost is fair. The score too at 4.
1E STOCKABILITY: Leadership is just as common in 1E, if not more so, and there's no Cost component. Friendly Fire might be an appropriate follow-up dilemma. 4 sounds about right again.
TOTAL: 12.5 (67.5%) Trek Sense confines it to an average score.
1E TOTAL: 12.6 (63%) Not very different.
#2222-Continuity Drone, Personnel, Borg, Cost: 1 /CtA/
-Borg; Science; Staff icon
-Drone; Interlink: Programming. (While this personnel is attempting a mission, you may discard the top card of your deck to make each of your Borg gain Programming until the end of that mission attempt.)
"Task: Facilitate data transfer through the central plexus. Coordinate."
-INTEGRITY: 5, CUNNING: 5, STRENGTH: 5
PICTURE: One of the drones on the Enterprise-E's dish, doing something connected to the task they've attributed to him. The color palette is minimal, and the background a gunmetal gray void, but it's a solid image. Some blur. Skeleton breastplate adds to the zombie feel of the Borg. Score settles at 3.4.
LORE: The usual Borg format and slightly techno-babbly task. It's fine, and though I enjoy the title Continuity Drone, my mind's eye sees a drone with a massive comic book collection. Distracting? Bah, more fun than anything else. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: If he's all about the data transfer, then it's very odd that he doesn't have Programming unless he shares it (expending energy to do so). Science isn't even the best idea for him, since his on-pic duties seem more on par with Engineer. Not to say the Interlink keyword isn't a great solution to Borg sharing, I do love it. Maybe we could say that his Programming function is only really used when he plugs into the Collective (through the central plexus), remaining at a conceptual, mathematical (Science) level until then. The rest is the standard Borg drone, and there's no problem with that. Much like Cartography Drone (I'd even switch their main skills), I give him a 3.1.
STOCKABILITY: The Borg have fewer skills per personnel than other affiliations, so Interlink is an important part of their mission solving strategy. Continuity Drone's Science is excellent of course, but he'll be judged on his sharing of Programming. It's a skill found on a number of Cost 2+ Borg, so really isn't rare or anything, but you need to Interlink to get double-Programming personnel to pass Bynars' Password. Even with a couple of Programming personnel, it may be difficult to pass some dilemmas, like Maglock. Some even require 2 Programming with Science, and are perfect for Continuity Drone (Sheer Lunacy, Short Circuit). As for the discards required, they may well provide the drones Borg Queen/Guardian of the Hive needs. A useful 3.5.
TOTAL: 13.1 (65.5%) As good a part of the Borg collection as any.
#2235-Cultist Attack, Interrupt, BC /CtA/
-Pah-wraith; To play this interrupt, you must command a [Baj] Treachery personnel.
-Order: Each player removes all interrupts in his or her discard pile from the game.
"Your work is finished. The Orb you are seeking. The Orb of the Emissary... You're never going to find it."
PICTURE: Jake and a wounded Sisko has
some pathos, even without clear faces, though it's more of an aftermath than an
Attack. I do like the earthy color palette. Manages 2.8.
LORE: The words of the Cultist, and they're ok, though they barely have anything to do with the game text. But that's a problem for the next section. An average 3 here.
TREK SENSE: The set-up for the card works, but the effect lets it down. This is a Pah-wraith Cultist, and so requires a Treachery Bajoran to play. Not all Bajorans with Treachery are part of the Pah-wraith cult, but they are more likely to be corrupted. Think of Winn, for example. As for the effect, it's got a slight thematic bent, but doesn't quite work. The Cultist does not kill or hurt anyone (not onscreen anyway) and may be at any location. The Interrupts in the discard pile are past happenings that now slip from memory, much like the Orb of the Emissary did. The Interrupt would keep you from regaining such resources, but of course, the Orb would not be an Interrupt, would it? And how does it remove memory of EVERY interrupt in all discard piles? So there's a theme, but it only vaguely relates to the game world. As such, a 2.
1E TREK SENSE: I can't really see a
difference, so again, a 2.
STOCKABILITY: This interrupt removes all interrupts from both discard piles, which prevents their recycling, rescue, etc. It also removes yours, and in a Bajoran deck (which you may have, since it requires Bajoran Treachery to play), you usually feed on that discard pile. There's less call for discarded interrupts anyway, as you'll be wanting to see personnel and events there much more. But as long as you're gonna lose cards from the discard pile, use any of a myriad of effects to gain from it first, and keep Cultist Attack for when there are no interrupts there any more. The effect on your opponent may prevent the rescue and subsequent free play of some effect. They can't then snap back from your Amanda Rogers. It kind of depends on the affiliation, as only a few have card rescue abilities that would extend to interrupts (Ocett, Nu'Daq and Vash for example). A really slim effect to date, and there's currently no way to use that Pah-wraith keyword. A 2.
1E STOCKABILITY: Since there are many
more ways to rescue cards from the discard pile, including Palor Toff and
Process Ore, this card is like a super-Fire Sculptor or Countermanda for
interrupts. Hey, those are cards that don't take your normal card play, so are
valuable for re-use. Still, there's not a huge call for that kind of thing,
especially it deals you the same blow. The 1E Bajorans are less focused on using
their discard pile anyway, not without some BC help. A 2.5.
TOTAL: 9.8 (49%) The Cult never succeeded, did it.
1 TOTAL: 10.3 (51.5%) Better because of the cards involved, but doesn't make it a winner.
#2246-Damar - Useful Adjutant, Personnel, Cardassian, Cost: 3, unique /CtA/
-Cardassian; Engineer, Officer, Physics, Security, Treachery; Command icon; Terok Nor icon
-Glinn; While this personnel is attempting a mission and an opponent is about to draw dilemmas, you may discard a card from hand to subtract one from the number he or she can draw. You may do this only once each turn.
"The last mines have been neutralized."
-INTEGRITY: 3, CUNNING: 5, STRENGTH: 6
PICTURE: A good clear image of Damar, with a ceiling that's not unlike his neck scales. The other Cardies in the shot detract somewhat, but it does put him in charge of some men. The smug look suits him. A 3.4 here.
LORE: The subtitle is good, but the lore is a bit specific. It helps sell the special ability, but doesn't have much flavor by itself. So a somewhat dull 3.
TREK SENSE: There are four Damars as far as I'm concerned - the bit part, the jerk, the Dominion puppet, and the noble freedom fighter. We have yet to see the last two, but this is the second of those Damars. Still a Glinn at this point, he serves Dukat on Terok Nor. His service aboard the bird-of-prey has been well rewarded, and he's now in a position of more power. The Command icon and higher Cost testify to this. He's an Officer, and Treacherous as all get-out. He deals with Security matters, arresting the new resistance members at one point, but he's also involved in Engineering matters, spearheading the effort to destroy the minefield around the Wormhole. Physics would help there too. The special ability deals rather thematically with the minefield. Think of that minefield as a dilemma, in this case. Damar's usefulness as an Adjutant is that he takes care of problems so that higher-ups like Dukat don't have to. In a sense, he's removing a dilemma before the mission starts (at the cost of a resource, reasonably so). Too wide to apply to all situations, but is thematically sound. Personally, I quite like it. Integrity is interesting here because it deviates from the original Damar card, Loyal Glinn. That doesn't happen often in 2E. An Integrity of 4 would have made him more loyal to Cardassia, but his morals get fuzzy when the Dominion takes over. His brutish behavior and killing of Ziyal drop him town to a 3. Cunning remains average and Strength above average Strength (at least a match for Kira). A strong effort at 4.
STOCKABILITY: In a Terok Nor deck, this Damar is the only one you would use, though there's another choice in Cardassian decks. Either way, Useful Adjutant has a solid skill list (Officer and Engineer and Security are most frequently required, not to mention Treachery), if lukewarm attributes. He's a useful dilemma manipulator though, starting each attempt with reducing the dilemmas drawn by one. That may keep useful combos out of an opponent's hands, restricting options as much as possible. If you've got Running a Tight Ship working at the same location, that's another dilemma, and so on. So in combination with other such manipulators, Damar gets annoying. Further, he's downloadable by Conscription (to the top of the deck). But he's not alone. There's the cheaper Loyal Glinn too if you're using Cardassia Prime. Cheaper, but with a less useful icon, fewer skills (well, different I guess) and a less interesting special ability. The Gul shuffle can't possibly compete with Adjutant's mission solving power. And though Terok Nor personnel are good at manipulating their opponents' draw decks, fiddling with the dilemma pile is much rarer, and thus more precious. I give Damar another 4 here.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Apparently a common score for Cardassians.
#2258-Dangerous Climb, Dilemma, planet, Cost: 4, BC /CtA/
-Unless you have 2 Geology or Strength>40, randomly select a personnel to be killed, then all your other personnel are stopped and this dilemma returns to its owner's dilemma pile.
"Isn't there a beginner cliff we can start on?"
PICTURE: A rare Enterprise pull,
always nice, and the expressions and large amount of climbing gear on
everybody's belts sells the idea of the dilemma. Sadly, the "planet
hell" backdrop doesn't. We're so familiar with that piece of set...
Lighting's a little strange, in places too dark, in places too bright. Holds
some interest, but no more than a 3.1.
LORE: Great line! What else can I say? I find it funny, and being from Enterprise, I don't feel like I've heard it many times before (seen any episode, at best, twice). A 4.
TREK SENSE: This Dangerous Climb has a high danger factor, i.e. Cost, but that goes with its name. Indeed, you gotta really know your way around rock formations with a double dose of Geology, or else be very strong as a group to do the difficult climbing, supporting others, etc. If not, somebody falls and dies, and it takes the rest of the turn for the rest to climb up or down the cliff face. The dilemma then returns to the pile, and can return on a later attempt, which we might justify by saying a mountainous planet would have more than one Climb to it. Ok, but not great - a frequent problem with dilemmas that are not discarded. Sensible aside from this mechanical anomaly. A 3.9.
1E TREK SENSE: The only change (aside from lack of Cost) is that in this version of events, if the dilemma is not overcome, the cliff is not Climbed. It remains as a wall... a tall one. That's a better take on it, actually, accounting for its higher 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: If this dilemma is not overcome, it kills one random personnel, stops the mission attempt, and returns to the dilemma pile to possibly be used again. All good stuff, but at quite a Cost. Again, we look to requirements to be hard enough to warrant the card's inclusion. Two options, the latter of which is based on high Strength and would be hard for most affiliations to pull together. Humans with above average Strength only clock in at 6, for example, and so would need 7 personnel to overcome the dilemma that way. Klingons and the Dominion might do better. 2 Geology is the easier requirement, but it's not necessarily the most common of skills. Captain's Holiday + Overwhelmed might be a good lead in for a Climb to strike. Still, it's pricier than similar dilemmas. A 3.5.
1E STOCKABILITY: Cost isn't an issue, thankfully, but giving alternative requirements weakens it. 2 Geology isn't gonna be so hard to come up with in 1E, and personnel are generally stronger (some affiliations will only need 3 personnel and a hand weapon). A wall with a kill at the beginning of it is nice, but I'm afraid Dangerous Climb would be too easy to overcome. A 3.1.
TOTAL: 14.5 (72.5%) Still a ways to go.
1E TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Didn't slide down to the bottom.
#2270-Darok - Martok's Aide, Personnel, Klingon, Cost: 2, unique /CtA/
-Klingon; Anthropology, Exobiology, Programming; Staff icon
-When you play this personnel, you may draw a card for each of your [Kli] Leadership personnel present (limit three).
"Men of our generation never stood on ceremony. We ate when we were hungry, we fought when we were angered... Oh, I miss the simplicity of those days."
-INTEGRITY: 6, CUNNING: 5, STRENGTH: 4
PICTURE: Great lighting on Darok here, making him fuzzy and wizened in the low light. Totally matches the color palette of the template. Whoever or whatever that is on the left of the image is distracting and could have been blacked out though. In total, a 3.4.
LORE: A nice nostalgic quote probably about the TOS days, in a sense explaining some of the differences between Klingons then and now. A good 3.4.
TREK SENSE: Darok is more or less the equivalent of a Yeoman, with Programming his most obvious task, and the Cost and Staff icon supporting the idea. He also acts as the ship's chronicle, a teller of stories and keeper of history, which is where Anthropology comes from. Exobiology may go back to his days eviscerating humans or something, but there's little in "Blaze of Glory" to support it. Usually when you see Exobiology and Anthropology together, it's meant to represent intimate knowledge of an alien species. Again, not really relevant to his appearance. The special ability represents his support of the Leadership structure aboard ship, whether that leader is Martok, Worf or Kor. He gets procures resources for each of them. At the same time, it's whatever inspiration he gains from serving with each Leader, being a sentimental old man at this point. I'm surprised at his lack of Honor, though perhaps he lost some of it by surviving to old age. His Integrity is above average though, and should be. Average Cunning and a slowed-down Klingon Strength are fine. Overall though, his abilities fail to really come into focus. No more than a 3.
STOCKABILITY: A little card-drawing power for the Klingons, Darok gives you as many as three, one for each Klingon Leadership personnel present at (we assume) the HQ. Klingons certainly have plenty of those, though there may be time lost bringing them back to the HQ for this. Otherwise, Darok has relatively few skills, though they are useful (Honor would have been nice), and uninspiring attributes (especially Strength, so important to Klingons). At least he's cheap. A weenie with a little extra juice when reporting, he manages a 3.1.
TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) Has probably seen better days.
#2282-Davin, Personnel, Cardassian, Cost: 2, BC /CtA/
-Cardassian; Astrometrics, Law, Treachery; Command icon; Terok Nor icon
-When you play this personnel, discard the top card of an opponent's deck.
"Still mindful of the bad timing of the withdraw from Bajor and subsequent discovery of the wormhole, some Cardassians embraced alliance with the Dominion solely for the goal of subjugating the Bajorans once more."
-INTEGRITY: 4, CUNNING: 6, STRENGTH: 6
PICTURE: A good shot of a random Cardassian, looking quite decadent in fact. The stray hands are a bit distracting, but the background is solid. A unique pose that gets a good 3.6 from me.
LORE: Like I've said before, I like this kind of "written" lore for universal personnel, lore that talks about this particular pictured specimen, but more about the type of character he represents. In this case, very nice stuff about how the Cardassian/Dominion alliance might have been at first perceived. And a great link to the Bajoran Occupation as well. A strong 3.7 here.
TREK SENSE: Ok, so a typical Cardassian serving on Terok Nor during his people's alliance with the Dominion, but if so, what was his function there? He's got a Command icon, which works with the patch on his uniform, but seems too much for his skill list. He's not an Officer? He's not anything we used to call a classification, and yet personnel so obviously in military service should have a post to call their own. His skills are inspired by the lore, certainly, though they hardly congeal into a single clear character. Astrometrics is there because of his interest in the wormhole. Law, why? Maybe because he also has an interest in the treaty with the Dominion, or in running Bajoran affairs again. Treachery makes it in because of his tyrannical motivations and quick taking to Dominion loyalties. The special ability might also be inspired by the general ideas here, but there's no way Davin could really cause that effect in the real world. I suppose the idea is that he's so keen on exploiting another affiliation that he takes a card away from an opponent, chipping at his or her draw deck. So conceptual, it's boring. His Integrity goes with character (he's still loyal to his side). Cunning may be a bit high, though perhaps the Command icon sells it. Strength is fine for a military man. I'll accept the Cost only because of the Command icon too, because otherwise, he's just an unimportant extra with no real role to play on the station. Major problems keep Davin down at 2.
1E TREK SENSE: 1E personnel are required to have classifications, so that's an extra problem. Cunning seems more representative though, but Strength less so. The Terok Nor icon has no bearing on reporting, taking away one good facet from his card. Summing it up, he drops to 1.8.
STOCKABILITY: Davin reads like Terok Nor Dukat redux, causing the loss of a card from the top of one opponent's draw deck when reporting. An annoyance that may or may not cause problems for that opponent, depending on what that card is. A nice combo with him is Kotra, which scores you points when the top card of an opponent's deck gets discarded. Other than that, his three skills aren't bad and rather uncommon (except the Treachery which fits in well with many Cardassian and Dominion missions). Astrometrics and Law have few instances on Terok Nor, so his non-unique nature means you can double up on these still important skills (Well-Crafted Lure and Astrometrics Lab make specific use of these, for example). Each Davin reported of course causes the discard, which may well be worth the 2 Cost. Used with pure Cardassians, he's less interesting (Law's pretty common there, for example), but still works. A 3.5.
1E STOCKABILITY: Without a Terok Nor
affiliation, he's relegated to Cardassian decks (not that you can't recreate
Terok Nor with a Treaty or two). His skills aren't too uncommon there, though
Law has a use with Extradition, and Astrometrics can be turned into either
Stellar Cartography or Astrophysics. Attributes aren't great, and no
classification in sight. At least he has a special skill that could prove
annoying, and Kotra is backwards-compatible. Though without a way to easily
report Davins, you can't really maximize the damage. I'd say a more average 3.1.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) I'll still drink to his health.
1E TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) Still not quite the bottom of the barrel.
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