To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for The Dominion expansion set.
PICTURE: Pretty plain. 10 and 01 are just standing there on the bridge as if having their picture taken. I like however, the symmetry of the two bodies, looking like they are mirrors of each other. A 3.
LORE: Very funny. A new "mode" of lore is invented: Bynar mode! (Other modes include Borg, Dixon Hill, Tamarian and Klingon.) I love that Decipher went the extra mile and not only wrote the stardates and starbase number in binary code, but the copyright notice as well. A nice surprise definitely worth a 4.8.
TREK SENSE: That 10 and 01 are dual-personnel is perfect for them - and all Bynars after them. They always operate in pairs. Non-Aligned made me scramble for reference works, because I thought for sure Bynaus was a member of the Federation, but it isn't. In any case, since other Bynars cards may apply to any affiliation, it stands to reason that they'll work for anybody. Staff, yes. Engineers, of course. I'm not surprised to find a lot of computer-related abilities either, since the Bynars are like living computers themselves. 10 has a double dose of Computer Skill and may download any Bynars card. Makes sense that these engineers could carry out the ship modifications they were hired to make. 01 nullifies all Computer Crashes in play, which was their goal in the episode. Of course, one Bynar on a ship or facility being able to affect all Computer Crashes everywhere is pushing it. The attributes are a lot of fun: 2-4-8. Each multiplied by 2! (I changed the sequence here.) 10 and 01 have low STRENGTH to go with their small fragile bodies, low to midling INTEGRITY because they tried to steal the Enterprise, and high computer mind CUNNING. Great design with few flaws: 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: Very stockable. Two ENGINEERs for the price of one is never to be sneered at. Add to that the valuable Computer Skill (add it twice even), the ability to download +2 WEAPONS to all your ships (more such enhancements to come, I'm sure), protecting yourself from the annoying Computer Crash, attributes that mount to 8-16-4, and NA status which lets them be played with any affiliation, and you've got one heck of a cool card. A 4.2.
TOTAL: 16.5 (82.5%) Or 00010000.1 (01010010.1 %) in binary code if you prefer.
PICTURE: Leyton looking noble in defeat. He's obviously hurt, but refuses to renounce his choices. A good pic of him, if only a headshot. A 3.6.
LORE: Pretty good, all of it accurate. I'm not sure I like the phrase "misguided paranoid" though. Things are never that black and white. Note that "Admiral" in the title makes him reportable at Office of the President and by Going to the Top. Points will be attributed for that, bringing the total to 3.2.
TREK SENSE: There are two types of Admirals. The Fleet Admirals get to be OFFICERS, the desk jobs go to the VIPs. And Leyton is a desk jockey, no argument there. The rest of the skills make sense too. Leadership since so many people were ready to follow him (I would have given him a x2 given the nature of his orders). He gets SECURITY because he is so security-conscious. Treachery... well, do I have to draw a picture? His special ability giving him carte blanche to attack the Dominion with any ships present works but, like most of these skills that let the Federation attack, is balanced in such a way as to defy Trek Sense. His beef is against the Dominion, true, but why can only cards "here" commit to the attack? Because only Earth was affected by his scheme? First, if the Federation and Dominion are at war, we don't need the excuse to have them battle. If they're not at war (as the battles restrictions would seem to imply), then Leyton's plans lead to it... and is war only going to be fought on the homefront? According to the episode, Leyton should even be able to attack the Federation itself! No mention here. The attributes are fine with Integrity at a middling 5 (he thought what he was doing was in the interests of Federation citizens, but the means left something to be desired), Cunning a Romulan-like 8 (came up with the plan) and Strength at a high 8 (not sure about this one, though he's pretty tough for an administrator). A 3.6.
STOCKABILITY: His mix of skills is unusual, most of it less than useful in solving missions and overcoming dilemmas (except the very good SECURITY). VIP will work with a number of cards, including letting him dock at or report to a Nor. Treachery can work with VIP on Attack Authorizations, or alone on mission theft. Leadership lets him initiate attacks. And his special ability, while only useful if your opponent plays the (for now) less than popular Dominion, lets him capitalize on it. A Federation battle deck in which Leyton, Kirk and Admiral Riker figure has a good chance of hitting SOMETHING. He reports for free on Earth with the appropriate HQ and his attributes are good. Another advantage (of sorts) is that a Dominion infiltrator bears his likeness. One of the good reasons to employ this kind of personnel is to remove the offending infiltrator when he or she shows up on your ship. All the infiltrators make excellent personnel for the Dominion, but with Admiral Leyton, you can report to Earth's Office of the President, expose Leyton Founder (who can, and probably did, report to Earth) and attack him right then and there with his special ability. Specialized, but not a bad apple: 3.9.
TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Can't wait to see how the Leyton Founder compares. Gut tells me he'll do better, though.
PICTURE: Except for the fact that he's sitting at the conn, he looks pretty much like a regular Jem'Hadar. Stick him on the wall next to a Giusti for extra fun. Wheeeeee! A 2.9.
LORE: Everything's there and corroborated by the episode ("Broken Link"). Simple and unimaginative, but correct. A 2.9 too.
TREK SENSE: The icons are fine - he's from the Gamma Quadrant, is, like most Jem'Hadar, dependent on Ketracel White, and can staff ships. (Though the Enterprise's "third", Data, has a command icon, I would imagine that Vorta and Founders in the ranks makes "third" Jem'Hadar less important in a crew or Away Team.) As a bodyguard, he's obviously SECURITY. Both Navigation x2 and Stellar Cartography make him a perfect conn officer, one worthy of serving the Founder Leader. The Computer Skill makes him able to use Federation consoles (maybe). See, this is where we start seeing skills for their presence's sake alone. After all, with fewer personnel, the new affiliations have to be... padded... a bit. Same for the special download. Though it's a natural for any security guard, especially a Jem'Hadar, why give it to this one? I don't remember him sacrificing himself to save anyone. The attributes are on the high side, like all Jem'Hadar (anyone else notice that all three of their attributes are almost always above 5?) It all works, but there's a lot of extrapolation here... a 3.6.
STOCKABILITY: One of the better (and thus, unique) Jem'Hadar. I won't really get into the usual Jem'Hadar restrictions (reports in Gamma Quadrant, Ketracel-addicted), but I will talk about the skill selection, which is great for space missions by the way. Amat'igan is one of the few Jem'Hadar with 4 or more skills and the only Dominion personnel with a double dose of Navigation (for going through the Badlands and Construct Depot). His SECURITY classification is found on a lot of Jem'Hadar, but then most Dominion missions require it (often in multiple). Stellar Cartography is less useful for mission solving and can be found on other personnel. Computer Skill is common in all affiliations. So not great, but not bad. The verdict resides in the special download. Security Sacrifice? Well, since the Dominion isn't lacking in that particular department, there are plenty of personnel always present that can intercede to save that special Founder or Vorta. After all Meso'Clan can only download one Jem'Hadar Sacrifice per game, and it can only save a Founder anyway. This gives you a second Sacrifice card, and one that can save your Ketracel rationer to boot. So all in all, a plus for Dominion decks. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) Our first Jem'Hadar is over the line.
PICTURE: Plain Jane. I didn't expect much more mind you. Too bad it couldn't be a pic of her monster form (maybe that'll be some other card to make shape-shifters better fighters, eh?). A straight shot that deserves something around a 2.8. Oh, I'd comment on how appropriate her stern expression is except that was the part of her she could never morph.
LORE: Better than average. "Shapeshifting" is probably not as a clear as the word "shape-shifter" itself, but it works. The two last sentences work together to explain her special ability, and there's slim poetry in describing Salia as "hope". A 3.4.
TREK SENSE: I'm a bit surprised at the CIVILIAN classification. I would have thought that she would either share VIP with Salia (the nurse of a VIP is also a dignitary) or be SECURITY (she's a bodyguard). CIVILIAN is okay, just not perfect. Of course, SECURITY is still there. Her Honor and high Integrity represent her ability to sacrifice herself in duty. The special ability makes a lot of sense too: she interposes herself between whatever could harm Salia and her charge. Again, the ability isn't perfect. Anya only protects Salia from random selections, meaning that she is incapable of saving her from someone who actually targets her specifically for death. She doesn't save her from personnel battles either. Also, she can take Salia's place in a Romance or Love Interest dilemma. Does that sound right? Anya steals a boyfriend and goes to the ends of the galaxy with him? Other than that, no problems. Her download of Salia shows just how close she keeps her ward. She scouts ahead, then tells Salia to come. The Cunning befits a closed-minded guard, the Strength is deceptively high, and she has access to shape-shifting cards. Plot holes aplenty, but most can be tolerated. A 3.
STOCKABILITY: She's the perfect secret service bodyguard. That is to say, she only really protects one person: Salia. And since Salia is a good personnel with plenty of skills and shape-shifting ability, she's a good one to protect. Anya and Salia are mostly important to give non-Dominion and non-Bajoran players some shape-shifters to work with. There are a lot of fun support cards for these and the Dominion (and Odo) shouldn't be the only ones to enjoy their use. In the Bag will allow reporting to any Equipment, Strike Three makes them fiercer in battle, Caught Red-Handed lets them expose infiltrators, You Dirty Rat will protect them from personnel battles, Flight of the Intruder from dilemmas. So, you ask, why protect Salia if the support cards can do it by themselves? Because once Anya has taken the bullet, Salia remains unstopped and in play. She's a mission solver, where Anya is more specialized as a dilemma pass-artist. And since Salia can be downloaded by her, it's not like she's a wasted card slot. Fast easy reporting, lovely. With good stats, two classifications, non-aligned status and shape-shifter support, she's also pretty good by herself, but not as strong (use some Strike Threes). A 3.8.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Her best score was in stockability, so she's quite usable. But I don't deal in that kind of reality. ;-)
PICTURE: One of the cooler Jem'Hadar, the blue really setting him apart from most of the others. What's that in the background? An Aphasia Device? Clocks in at 3.9.
LORE: No real mistakes. I think "... the cure to..." would have been better than the more telegraphic style used here, but other than that. Rank is given which leads me to think that some future card might have an effect on Jem'Hadar Firsts, Seconds, et al. Hmm. A 3.
TREK SENSE: A Jem'Hadar Second is our equivalent of First officer, so OFFICER it is. Only the Firsts have command icons in the Dominion, as there are other races holding command ability. He's addicted to Ketracel White and is from the Gamma Quadrant. Fine. As for the skills, only Leadership is really shown on the show. The rest is conjectural and a bit odd, to tell you the truth. Physics? No evidence. Transporter Skill? None either. What to me is the most ludicrous is the special download. With all the Jem'Hadar we've seen on DS9 beaming onto the Defiant or the station, why is Arak'Taral, a character from a planet-based adventure, the one with this particular ability? I don't dispute that it's a great download for Jem'Hadar to have. It's just tacked on to the wrong guy. As for the attributes, his Integrity is upper average for Jem'Hadar (loyalty to the Dominion, if not to Goran'Agar; Cunning is a bit high (science skills?); and Strength is the usual Jem'Hadar high. Can't give it more than a 2.6 overall.
STOCKABILITY: He's a good fighter, but aren't they all? What puts him over the top in that regard is that he can download Invasive Beam-In and use it himself with his Transporter Skill. Great economy of resources there. The rest of the skills vary in quality. He's the best Physics personnel (useful for Construct Depot), but Leadership is an extremely common Dominion skill. Plus he's got the normal Jem'Hadar disadvantages: the Ketracel and Gamma Quadrant icons. Final result: 3.4.
TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5 %) A ho-hum personnel boosted by a great download and picture.
PICTURE: A rather nice green planet with swirling clouds that look as stormy as any dispute. Certainly passes the Rolo-test. A 4.1.
LORE: Well put, a nice "wartime" mission. And I can see how both affiliations able to solve the mission would want to do so. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: The Klingons want to do it because the believe the territory to be theirs by right. The Dominion, to pit ally against ally. How the Dominion can do such a thing is kind of odd unless they do it with their Klingon infiltrator, but it's possible in the CCG "alternate universe". To solve the mission, you need officers (it's wartime, and they need to issue orders) and Strength (it's a military operation), plus one of the following: 3 VIPs who have the diplomatic authority to start a war with the Federation, Gowron (same thing) or a changeling posing as a Klingon (the Dominion option). All the elements seem to make sense for the Klingons, but the Dominion solution leaves something to be desired. If they possibly (and why not all the time) need someone posing as a Klingon to actually make the move, how can they do it with 3 Vorta VIPs? Or even if Martok Founder is used to do it, how does he explain he's using Jem'Hadar soldiers (OFFICERs and Strength)? Plot holes aplenty, but still well done: 3.
SEEDABILITY: An easy 35 points for both affiliations. Both have plenty of Strength and VIPs available, and each has a one personnel partial solution (Gowron/Martok Founder). Although unless you bring either one with you, you're looking to bring a LOT of personnel along. Not for the Strength, but for the VIP/OFFICER mix. There are no double VIPs or OFFICERs and those VIPs aren't going to be the strongest personnel, especially in the Dominion. Looks good at first, but be careful. A 3.2.
TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) A pretty standard mission with some neat requirements.
PICTURE: Odd mustache that would easily fit on a 20th-century Earth landlord, but other than that, he looks like a paranoid Klingon intelligence agent (which may be a liability, note) looking over his shoulder. A 3.7 easy.
LORE: Passes the "universality test" by being termed "typical". The rest of the lore is sparse, but then he didn't get to do all that much on the show. It's strange to see the word "specialist" on a card, by the way. Is Decipher going to help out new players by reminding them that personnel are mission specialists now? 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Hard to argue when the character made little impact, so I won't. This typical Klingon is universal, acts as staff (was Morka and Bo'Rak's staff) and works with Klingon Intelligence. His feature episode doesn't present us with any of his other skills, so no reason to add any. The mission specialist status makes some sense too. At least, he looks more like a spy than the other two Intelligence officers. SECURITY is natural for such personnel, as is the underhanded Integrity and medium-high Cunning. Strength is a little low, but his slight build supports this. A 4.5 here.
STOCKABILITY: There's not a lot of call for Klingon Intelligence on existing missions. There's Earth and that's it. Still, with Assign Mission Specialists, you could net yourself a fairly easy 50 points with just two personnel (him and his clone). It's certainly good for the Klingons to have more choice in the SECURITY department, though Atul's abilities are limited, his attributes are nothing to write home about, and there's not a lot of incentive to use Defensive Measures to make him a leader. Don't play unless you're seeding Espionnage Mission, that's for sure. A 2.9.
TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) A good card that runs the middle of the course, but on the above average side.
PICTURE: A Jem'Hadar with a regular peeved expression. Not particularly interesting and even looks slightly stupid. Plus, the background is totally unbalanced. A 2.7.
LORE: The lore doesn't fail to mention he's a "representative" and thus universal. The rest firmly establishes from which episode he sprang from without spoiling it for people who haven't seen it. After all, Deep Space 9 hasn't sufferred as many reruns (or in some countries, first runs) as Next Gen. Slightly better than average at 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Starting with the icons, they're all fine. The Jem'Hadar is a universal representative of staff-level officers, addicted to the white and originating from the Gamma quadrant. Since the character didn't make much of a mark on the show (I think even his name is an invention), his skills have to be extrapolated. Leadership makes sense for an officer, though he's only Third. And Computer Skill is a fairly common skill. No problems there, nor with the attributes which correspond to a lesser (though smart) Jem'Hadar soldier. Scores a 3.
STOCKABILITY: While universal Jem'Hadar are weak compared to unique ones, they are nonetheless useful. For one thing, they can be exchanged for Young Jem'Hadar springing from your Birthing Chambers. And if all you need are good foot soldiers to attack your opponent, universals are cheap and can be enhanced with Lower Decks. That said, Azet'izan is probably the least useful of the universals (and thus of all Jem'Hadar). Leadership being mostly used to enable ships and Away Teams to attack, is not required on OFFICERs who can already do so. And both his skills are very common ones found on many Dominion personnel, and on few dilemmas. Can't go over a 2.2 even if he IS the only universal Dominion OFFICER.
TOTAL: 11 (55%) Didn't take us long to find the worst Dominion personnel...
PICTURE: A little indistinct but very cool. The changeling (Odo) smashing into the force field is amazingly golden, and the circle of lights around him are very striking. The effect is a little fuzzy though, and the prone figure in front of it seems superimposed. Better than average at 3.3.
LORE: Everything's until the last sentence which is incomplete as far as sense goes. It's has weak syntax with little context. A 2.9.
TREK SENSE: The effect - one changeling kills one non-changeling because it has gone insane - works, but you have to ask yourself where that changeling came from. It's not a changeling from the Away Team, and without an open Bajoran Wormhole, it can't be one from the Dominion. Another seedling? Could be. The space/planet seeding allowance is harder to understand for space. The Changeling has to get aboard somehow. There are myriad ways of overcoming the dilemma, but if you don't, it stays as a wall. Changelings are notoriously difficult to catch, so as long as it's free it keeps stopping and killing. How do you stop the massacre? Well, 2 hand weapons will do it (killing the shape-shifter), as will the equivalent 3 SECURITY. (But... if 3 Jem'Hadar kill a changeling, shouldn't they kill themselves?) A Changeling Sweep will also uncover the creature and make it possible for your forces to capture/kill it (going by the name alone here). A Shape-Shift Inhibitor stops the changeling from taking monstrous or escape artist form (again, from the name). The Interphase Generator, since it allows you to phase through other STRENGTH-related walls, does the same for you here. And Mora Pol, changeling expert, knows enough to disable the mad changeling. In general, well-designed. A 4.3.
SEEDABILITY: I used to love Security Precautions. It was a great wall with some difficult requirements. Berzerk Changeling replaces it entirely. It's great! Not only is it a wall, but it also kills one random personnel per turn. It can seed at nay mission type, and the requirements are very tough. One hand weapon, sure. Two? Less often and filterable with Common Thief or Disruptor Overload. Interphase Generator is a rather limited Artifact. Mora Pol, a unique rare personnel that only really works with the Bajorans. Two of the requirements don't even exist yet. So the only real option is the 3 SECURITY. Most affiliations can produce these now, so it's quite doable. Good thing too, or this dilemma would have been a little broken. Still real nasty - a 4.3.
TOTAL: 14.8 (74%) One of the stronger uncommon dilemmas out there, with real staying power.
PICTURE: A very nice planet, with few clouds. Big too. As it should be, since it is one of the more important planets in Star Trek, TNG's equivalent to Vulcan as it were. Though likeable, it looks like it was painted, lowering its score to a 3.5.
LORE: Well phrased. Mission lore is often very mechanical, but this one has some expression to it, as well as very appropriate military language. Shows how daring the mission is, and why it would be worth so many points. A 4.4.
TREK SENSE: This mission was attempted and completed by the Dominion since the war began and proved to be a turning point in the war. Thus, the high points are well deserved. The span number is high because the planet IS deep in Federation territory. Shouldn't the Feds have closer access to it though? Perhaps game text could have made the span different for other affiliations, I dunno. Minor quibble really. As for the requirements, they speak of all out war. To conduct an invasion, you'll need some OFFICERs to give the orders, SECURITY to follow them, weapons to arm your soldiers, and plenty of old-fashioned STRENGTH. Yee-haw! But waitamminit: you can invade an entire planet with 8 personnel and two guns? This is one of those rare missions where we have to apply the same Trek sense used for staffing ships. Just like you can't staff a Galaxy-class ship with 3 people, you can't conduct an invasion with 8. Each person thus represents no-name staff, departments, and in this case, plotoons. This also goes to the whole "how many hand weapons are represented by one hand weapon card" puzzle and make it more difficult to decipher. Does each soldier need two weapons (as the bucketload theory would suggest)? Or does each hand weapon represent a number of weapons proportionate to the number of personnel conceptually present (which contradicts the splitting equipment logic)? Or are we to believe that two guns are enough to wage an invasion? Tough stuff, and since most (if not all) other missions are "commando", that is, attemptable by the actual number of personnel in an Away Team, and this one somehow a "army" thing, I can only give it a 3.
SEEDABILITY: An excellent mission for the Dominion. The requirements are quite easy for them to supply, and the points are monstrously high. That's 45 + 10 if you decide to Establish Dominion Foothold there (great for Trek sense and for a "cool" Parallax 5-pointer maybe?). Who needs Dominion mission specialists? ;-) How easy ARE the requirements? Well, the Dominion has plenty of OFFICERs and SECURITY, all of them quite strong (but you need 100 STRENGTH, you say). And how strong to they have to be? Well, if you have the 8 required Jem'Hadar, that's 48 points from 2 Rifles, leaving you with only 52 STRENGTH to find. 52/8 = 6.6. 6.6 with Jem'Hadar who are all pushing or passing 10. Even with inferior Disruptors, you'll only need 76 STENGTH, or 76/8 = 9.2. Don't forget you probably also have a Vorta in there hopped up on the hand weapons' boost as well. No sweat. Sure, accumulating the number of personnel may take a little while, but chances are you're stuck in the Gamma Quadrant for a little while at the start of the game. And there's plenty of duplication between these requirements and those of Subjugate Planet for it to be worthwhile. A 4.8 easy.
TOTAL: 15.7 (78.5%) Fewer missions for the new affiliations means higher quality ones.
PICTURE: While I'm rarely impressed by planet missions when the planet is pictured so far away, this one is a little better than most. The size and color go well with the idea that it is barren. The halo around it remind us of some sort of emanation coming from it (the Cardassian signals), and it is criss-crossed with large canyons, in line with the cave network we saw on the show. In fact, I screwed up my eyes pretty badly trying to discern some pattern in the canyons, some sort of non-official Easter Egg. All I could find was a shape not unlike the Obsidian Order or Cardassina Union symbol in the center of the planet if you look at it upside down. Maybe. Score? 3.9.
LORE: A lot of information in that one sentence. Does a good job of describing the events of "Chain of Command" from the Cardassians' point of view, sheds new light on Cardassian Trap and even gives a little morcel about the planet itself. A nice 4.3.
TREK SENSE: Fun stuff. An Engineer is needed to install the generator, the Strength presumably works as a labor force. A reverse requirement of no Honor is interesting as an alternative to Treachery. Treachery is what I call Spy Skill, so if a mission would require dishonesty, but not spying, "no Honor" would be relevant. But here, spy skills ARE needed (to propagate rumors and build a covert installation), so why the change? It's cool and everything, but totally unnecessary. Three choices for the last clause, all of them dealing with the capture of an important Federation personnel (not acknowledged game-wise). You need either plenty of Security and an Obsidian Order agent or, surprise, Obsidian Order operative without the skill, Gul Madred. He somehow counts as a security force + OO operative. Nice to see him acknowledged as he IS the one that carried out the mission, but he's almost too strong. The last clause does seem strange given that the lore makes no mention of any capture. It may just be I'm getting ahead of myself and Madred (or whoever) just PLANS the mission. No problems with the usual stats... a 3.4.
SEEDABILITY: A nice 40 points which can be completed with just classifications and Obsidian Order if you want. I was worried at first that too many of the needed personnel would turn out to have Honor, but no. Since ENGINEER is the hardest to find on Cardassians, Honorable ones would prove the only real obstacle to solving Bioweapon Ruse, but only Gilora Rejal fits the bill. Dejar on the other hand, has both ENGINEER and Obsidian Order. Not very many Cardassians have Honor, so it's easy to avoid them when preparing your deck. And the inclusion of Madred justifies the use of this personnel and his captive-related abilities, though it does make the mission a little more stealable. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 15.1 (75.5%) Not bad at all for a tiny mudball.
PICTURE: Intriguing. Since this is the guy that ran the virtual reality program on Sisko and company's minds, it's very appropriate that his image be surreal. How? The black background is a staple of old Trek surrealism, using half-complete sets and empty soundstages to save money (remember "The Empath"?), and his shirt has a cool swirling pattern. The real clincher though is Borath's hair, wisps of which go over his ear and then seem to blend with the dark gray streaks in the background. Looks like he's dissovling. Totally unreal. A 4.7.
LORE: No mistakes, and tells the story very nicely in the space alloted. Nothing especially interesting either. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: All Vorta are Command personnel since they give Jem'Hadar orders, often acting as captains (where the Founders would be Admirals). Running the simulation requires knowledge of both man and machine as the crew was plugged into some sort of apparatus for it to work. So Borath is basically MEDICAL with some SCIENCE thrown in. Cybernetics has to do with he merging of metal and meat and has to be here. Exobiology, because he worked on alien (to him) physiologies. And Treachery because 1) the simulation was a trick and 2) he's a Vorta. Lying is like breathing to them. No Computer Skill? You would have thought that would also be a requisite skill. The Integrity's maybe a bit high, but he didn't really harm the crew. Cunning is just right and Strength seems okay. Too bad a cool download of Garak (from the sim) couldn't be thrown in for flavor. It would have given the Dominion a reason to use AU Doorway AND Non-Aligneds. Oh well, still a very good 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: A must in Dominion decks, since he's the only natural MEDICAL they have. Eris will provide you with a universal MEDICAL (from her skill box), but Borath has more skills. And for some reason, the Dominion has many missions that require MEDICAL. He's all you need for Botanical Research skill-wise, after which you just fill in the attributes. He's dual classification for one thing, has the relatively rare skills of Exobiology and is the only Dominion personnel with Cybernetics. If you don't want to be hit with Borg Servos, he'll be necessary. Once you have an outpost in the Alpha Quadrant, you can also start reporting Soong-Type Androids to fill the MEDICAL (or any other) ranks. Plus don't forget he's a Vorta. He rations the Ketracel-White so the Jem'Hadar don't go berzerk, and is a requirement on a number of cards. Fair stats too. A 4.8 for Dominion players.
TOTAL: 16.8 (84%) Our first Vorta goes home with a prize!
PICTURE: On the one hand, the picture's kind of busy and unclear, mostly because of the vegetation behind Leyton and Odo and the shadows playing on them, on the other, those shadows are what gives the card its own special cachet. The shadows on Leyton in particular make him look evil, he's a "tainted" Leyton, a taint which seems to run through Odo through their contact. The changeling handshake is hard to see though. And there's enough red on the card to go with its title - a 4.
LORE: First of all, great title. Though changeling hands are more amber than red, it's still a nice play on the gooey handshake. As for the lore itself, it's well constructed, mentioning the event from the picture and Odo's skills both as a shape-shifter AND as a regular investigator. This will help greatly with the Trek Sense of the card's non-shape-shifter effects. There's unfortunately no extrapolation to other situations... a 3.9.
TREK SENSE: Just like in the picture, your shape-shifter can detect and expose any infiltrator present. This would be done by grabbing hold of the offender and proving he's not a solid, right? But can Anya and Salia do these gooey tricks? And does it mean that we'll never get non-changeling infiltrators? I hope not. That's why Odo's investigating skills are mentioned, since an infiltrator (shape-shifter or no) could be detected by deduction alone. Then why a shape-shifter and not a SECURITY personnel? Salia just doesn't fall in the investigator mold, and infiltrated parties are likely to be using her, Anya and/or Odo. Can't have it both ways, I'm afraid. The second function could represent one changeling grabbing another (again, like in the picture) and forcing it to stay in its present form, (and here, changeling is specified) but it doesn't require any changeling to be present. Why can't the changeling morph? Caught by whom? The third function takes the title more literally, forgetting the pic for a minute. It catches (nullifies) Common Thief. Fun stuff, and the real reason, I'd wager, that Odo's role as an investigator is mentioned. Why can't the card be nullified? Well, Amanda Rogers hates unfair advantages according to her cards. Morphing, stealing and infiltrating is the stuff she dislikes and so, she's not going to reverse those events by interfering. I finish this review on a good note, but there were a number of bad ones along the way taking this one to 2.3.
STOCKABILITY: A very defensive card, you must pretty much believe that your opponent will play Dominion. Let's look at the card function by function. 1) If your opponent is infiltrating you, and you stocked a shape-shifter (you better if you're using this interrupt), you can bring your shifter to the same location and all at once get rid of a nuisance (infiltrators can wreak untold havok) and capture a juicy personnel (all infiltrating Founders have great skills). Of course, your opponent must be playing Dominion AND use infiltrating strategies for the card to be useful. 2) You can prevent a changeling from morphing. This can be hard on your changeling foes since you can force them to partake in personnel battles, face dilemmas and stay who they are at the moment. This can lead them to lose a turn or die atrociously, depending. Great effect, but again, your opponent must be using the Dominion and be dependent on his Founders. The Bajorans have Odo, so that'll work too. 3) Nullify Common Thief and save either some Equipment or a life. Useful in a pinch, but your opponent must have seeded that particular dilemma. It's a Tent card, sure, but too dependent on the opponent's actions to be anything but risky at this point. If your ARE facing the Dominion though, you'll want some of these as insurance. 2.8 here.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Lucky number 13 rears its ulgy head! ;-)
PICTURE: A good clear portrait. Ch'Pok is a dark figure before a brighter background, and the look in his eyes further makes him a man that you shouldn't turn your back to. Not without interest at 3.8.
LORE: Though the two "titles" seem to hug each other too closely in the text (the weakest part of his lore), the long sentence makes for a nice summary of the episode. Love the word "contrived" here, and I think the somewhat complicated political issues are concisely covered. A better than average 3.6.
TREK SENSE: Obviously, as a Klingon special envoy, he's going to figure as a VIP. His Staff icon is unproven, but not excluded as all Klingons are raised as warriors, part of which includes staffing birds-of-prey. Picard-like Diplomacy (at x2)? I can see that, though he has a very different style. His Treachery is a given since the accusations were bogus. Law, I don't have to defend. Computer Skill is for operating PADDs and finding records, perhaps he even took part in creating the false ship manifests. Biology... Biology? The most biological thing I've seen him do is wipe blood off his lip. There's no real reason for this skill to be here except that the Klingons are a little Biology-deficient and the newer dilemmas ask for it more often. The attributes, I have no problem with. Integrity is Firestorm-low (the guy's a lawyer, *snicker*), Cunning very high (what would be an EXPENSIVE lawyer), and Strength relatively low for a Klingon (he's a soft VIP), but still high enough to take Worf's attack in stride. If it weren't for the "contrived" skill... a 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: The problem with Klingon personnel is that there's a lot of redundant skills in the genepool. You'll come across a lot of Leadership/Diplomacy/Honor combos for example. What make Ch'Pok stand above the crowd is that he's not like that. He has 5 skills, all of them useful. He's the only Klingon with a double dose of Diplomacy for passing Q-Net all by himself. He's the only one with Law, which is absolutely necessary to overcome Vendetta. Hand him a PADD and he'll cure Framed for Murder even if he loses his unique skill. Biology is becoming more and more useful and is found on a number of Klingon Medical missions. Treachery isn't rare on Klingon cards, but it isn't common either. And Computer Skill, very useful, isn't on that many Klingons if you start comparing the affiliations. Add to that the ability to report to Guest Quarters and other VIP perks, high CUNNING and the always important ability to drive your own bird-of-prey, and you've got a very decent personnel (well, in game terms he's decent). Watch out for his low INTEGRITY in Firestorm country and low STRENGTH in personnel battles though. Goes for a 4.1.
TOTAL: 15 (75%) No decimals for a hair-splitter? Strange. ;-)
PICTURE: I"ve already mentioned a number of times how I dislike the colors shown here, purplish blues and raisins. To me, it's a pretty lame palette to work from. Add to that the boring dark background and that the game pieces never really had a design connection with Sisko, Bashir and Dax, and you're far from an award-winner. Thanks to the light in the middle, one of the pieces seems to have be chosen, or "picked". That's a bit better and keeps the score at 2.8.
LORE: Exactly as Falow has explained, so it works fine. I'm a bit surprised that the card wasn't called Chula: Thialo, but I actually like this better. Has more rhythm. A slightly better than average 3.2
TREK SENSE: The Chula dilemmas are a little odd when it comes to Trek Sense. I'm mostly wondering how they occur. The game comes from the Gamma quadrant, but no Wormhole needs be in play for it to hit. Unless you're making a complete Chula combo (and why would you?), then you're only playing one shap and not the rest. At least the fact that they are all walls/filters represents the time lost playing Falow's stupid game. Pick One to Save Two is actually the closest to Trek Sense. It, in fact, embodies Chula as a whole. First, three personnel are chosen and "taken aside". Then it's up to someone else (you, although there really should be someone present) to pick one to save the two others. Not choosing makes the game last longer (stopping the three personnel), while choosing one takes that person out of the game and into your hand. Seems to take relocating a bit too far, but can be made sense of: when it happened on the show, the person taken out only reappeared after the game was over, and had to re-report in a way. Well, I'd buy it if the personnel could be reported to the same ship or Away Team, but that's not the case. And what makes the wall? If there aren't three participants available, why isn't the friendly game of Chula simply tabled? These things are well designed conceptually, but don't offer much in terms of actual storytelling. A 1.8.
SEEDABILITY: All the Chulas make good wall/filter dilemmas, and are extremely difficult to avoid. Pick One has the advantage of stopping redshirts initially. To get through, three personnel must face thialo. Then, you must choose to either send a personnel back to your hand, losing that personnel until it can be reported again, or being stopped once again. It's not as terrible as all that and there are ways around it. For example, always carry personnel that can report to special locations (like Dr. Telek R'Mor) and you can face thialo with peace of mind. Of course, not everyone has access to such personnel, nor can they always be at the right place at the right time. If you choose to be stopped, then three of your personnel have just been filtered out and must continue. Three is a lot. Best case scenario: you redshirt and are stopped. You immediately send 3 personnel down (this won't work at all in space, which may be the best place to seed it) are let them be stopped. Next turn, you attempt mission. Good for stalling your opponent, but not a "killer" by any means. A 3.4.
TOTAL: 11.2 (56%) I'll pick this Chula dilemma to save myself the other two for the coming weeks.
PICTURE: Don't like it. The pale yellows and plums make the room look dirty to me, the girl's costume is a disaster, the composition is haphazard, and those prints on the floor are just splotches that could have been made by five-year-old fingerpainters. This little game of hopscotch might very well have the worse pic in The Dominion expansion (but I'll reserve judgement for now). A 0.5.
LORE: Of the three Chula dilemmas, this is the one that explains the game the most (about shaps, etc.), but maybe that should have been left up to The Dice which are apparently the foundation of the game. The Chandra is a specific challenge like thialo (Pick One to Save Two) and should have remained specific. Might have been nice to get a quote from the girl's nursery rhyme. Allamaraine... a 2 for still giving good information.
TREK SENSE: Conceptually, some. In reality, none. The card turns one personnel into Chandra herself. She continues and anyone who can mimic her can follow. The problem is, an Away Team will be stopped entirely and no one should continue if they can't decipher her riddle. But now somebody continues no matter what. Also, mimicking the person is done through attribute comparison. Not at all how it happened on the show. Interesting effect and all, but can't get higher than a 1.3 here.
SEEDABILITY: I tried to work some numbers for the purposes of this review and while I did find some interesting things, I never got through comparing personnel in anything except INTEGRITY 1 through 5. If anything, that proves this dilemma is quite random, and really can't be prepared for. It is one major filter. While personnel from the same affiliation or species will often have similar stats, Non-Aligneds and rare androids are more risky to use. If Lore gets picked for example, he'll continue and everyone else will most likely be stopped. The Dominion's coveted unique Founders have an advantage and a disadvantage: they all have INTEGRITY 4. As a team of mission solvers, they'll go through easily (losing their Jem'Hadar support), but one Founder will most likely go ahead alone if part of a non-Founder team. Either that or be left behind. The dilemma will have less effect in two situations: redshirting and Borg scouting. Redshirts will run through this one like butter. Borg drones all have stats in common (all 5s and 7s) and will be largely unaffected unless the Queen or one of her Counterparts is present. A nice trick: make sure you put a redshirt hoser right after The Chandra. If your opponent redshirted his way through the dilemma, pow! If all but one personnel were filtered out, pow! Since it potentially filters all but one card out of an Away Team or crew, it may pack a lot of punch, often filtering out a number of personnel and destroying pesky mega-Away Teams out to solve your Q. But you just never know with this one. A 3.9.
TOTAL: 7.7 (38.5%) In reality, a good card (look at seedability), but I don't deal in reality.
PICTURE: The best Chula picture to date, it's still not a masterpiece, but at least it works. The dice are reminiscent of the Dungeons & Dragons games of our youth, while still looking like ancient artifacts. I don't much care for the blurry lines of the table, but I do like the surface on which the dice rest. Interesting to the eye, as are the adequately alien symbols on the dice themselves. A 3.4.
LORE: Clear, concise and a fine introduction to Chula. Eventually, will we have enough dilemmas that we can play Chula using their lores as an instruction manual? A good 3.5.
TREK SENSE: All conceptual and no real sense. I mean, I get it. Three dice, three requirements. Dice have numbers on them, personnel do too. But this is not a situation that came up in the show at all, and certainly not in connection with the throw of the dice. Concept only gets you as far as 1.7 I'm afraid.
SEEDABILITY: While the requirements are realistic (that is, they ask for more STRENGTH than INTEGRITY since it's a more easily boosted attribute, for example), they are not very easy. Each affiliation will have its Achille's heel attribute-wise and have difficulty with one of the three requirements. For Bajorans, the Strength requirement will be the hardest as only Odo has more than an 8, but that's what War Room and hand weapons are for. The Cardassians are fine for Cunning, and not that bad for Integrity (especially the Civilians), and again, not too hot with Strength. The Feds will breeze through this except for the Strength (you'll need guns, Worf or an android). The Klingons are in good shape though. I think their weakness is overratted. They have at least 8 personnel with the required Cunning, and most are very useable. The Romulans are wobbly, having only a few of each requirement. The Borg will have to adapt or combine Lower Decks with a Queen or Counterpart at risk. The Dominion is in the best shape, as Jem'Hadar almost all pass the Integrity and Strength requirements, while the Founders and Vorta can easily take care of the Cunning. Bottom line, most affiliations will have to stock hand weapons or other attribute enhancers, which they already do for the most part. Non-Aligned personnel with high attributes are also a good option. In any case, the dilemma is a good redshirt hoser, requiring at least 3 personnel to overcome. In a combo that targets specifically attributed personnel, you can either make the wall harder to pass, or make it so your random selection picks a juicier target. A success worth 4.3.
TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) Score not arrived at randomly.
PICTURE: Great design has given us a card without a top text box, providing a better view of the asteroid field and a more glorious picture. All asteroids before have been very small or uninteresting, but this one's a great pic, with many larger rocks in clear focus. I don't put my seal of approval on it right away though, as there are problems. For one thing, the asteroids look like cereal. In particular: some sort of musli. For another, I'm wondering about those purple lights on the center asteroid. I'm assuming they're the fire from some kind of torches starting to build the outpost. They look completely disposessed though, and the rock looks like a grand piano on wheels. More good than silly, I give the card a 3.8.
LORE: Straight-pipe mission lore. Nothing stinks, but it's not perfume either. A 3.
TREK SENSE: Constructing an outpost in an asteroid field can't be easy. You'll need navigational skills just to get the equipment and materials in place. You'll also need a degree in Physics just to figure out the dynamics of the chosen asteroid. After all, build without thinking and your depot could be destroyed by an asteroid fated to hit yours. A Vorta will supervise the whole, it's what they do. And the obligatory builder, I mean Engineer, must also be present. When the depot has been built, you can actually play a Depot there. Very smooth. And since only the Dominion has Remote Supply Depots available to them, the mission is just for the Dominion. A Span of 2 makes sense because the Founders will want their Ketracel-White available close to any inhabited region of space. They'll also want as many as they need, making the mission universal. Must they all be in asteroid fields though? While I'm sure the Dominion has facilities down on planets, asteroid fields (as seen in the show) are great strategically. They supply cover and a fast way for Jem'Hadar fighters to resupply. The rewards are also adequate for the work they entail, 30 points + an Outpost download. The big question: is the lack of a text box on your opponent's side Trek-Sensical? I don't think it is. The justification behind it seems to be that Romulans and the like could not Espionnage this one because they don't build Depots, and should not be able to try. Well, I'm not sure how a thief deck is going to steal a mission that requires a Vorta. And if your opponent is playing Dominion (even one personnel under Treaty), he should be able to do the mission. He's Dominion and they do construct depots. Great stuff, but the innovation doesn't really work. A 4.3 nonetheless.
SEEDABILITY: If you're playing Dominion, this is probably one of your best missions. First of all, chances are you're going to venture into the Alpha Quadrant. If you don't want to be at the mercy of the Wormhole and the long distances associated with quadrant hopping, you might want an outpost (to report and reset your White) close by. Sure, you can build one with an ENGINEER, but why not score points along with that. And with Construct Depot, you don't even need the facility in hand. The problem will be bringing all those personnel together. There's isn't a lot of duplication as far as these particular skills go. We'll have to wait for Blaze of Glory before including a Vorta that can bring any of them to bear. Good news is, your were going to include that ENGINEER anyway, there are a lot of good Physics personnel in the Dominion, and Navigation is a must, so you don't have to make strange inclusions in your deck. Another good thing: the mission is universal and still worth 30 points plus download. Did I mention it's completely thief-proof? While other affiliations would be hard-pressed to find a Vorta (Brainwash and Treaty come to mind), even your Dominion opponent can't touch this one. Include a few and you can reuse those personnel all you want and never fear from Espionnage. I believe the lack of a reverse point box also makes the mission immune to Borg objectives? (And a good Borg seed, since no one can steal it from your drones.) So, a little more difficult to solve than other universals, but really worth it in the end. A 4.7.
TOTAL: 15.8 (79%) A success limited only by the usual mission lore.
PICTURE: I was glad to hear that The Dominion would have cards pulled from First Contact since pictures taken from the movie have generally better photography. So imagine my disappointment when I saw floppy-eared Riker here. Sure, it's an interesting choice for the card effect, with Riker "staffing" the Phoenix, which is definitely not his usual vessel. A number of things might have spiced it up though, like showing his full "reassigned" uniform, or a more dynamic pose with him perhaps smiling over Cochrane's shoulder when he quotes Zefram to himself. A boring ol' 2.5.
LORE: Clear and concise, with no mistakes. It might have given a more general example of crew reassignment, but this is likeable. A 3.
TREK SENSE: First, it makes perfect sense that this would be a Captain's Order. Then, we've got two effects. The first one is okay, but not perfect. In essence, it does the same thing as the movie, placing Enterprise-E icon personnel (Riker and Geordi) into Staff icon positions on another ship. It's the only way to reproduce the effects of the film with your cards. Problems: the E-E personnel are usually Command personnel. On Non-Aligned vessels, I can see the diminished capacity. On Federation vessels, I doubt it. Even reassigned Command personnel remain Commanders. The second effect is trouble. Reporting aboard ships you were meant to specifically staff isn't REassignment, it's just plain assignment. Reporting there from hand is likewise not REassignment since it's the first assignment your personnel gets. Title aside, it makes sense for AU personnel to already be aboard AU ships (if not immediately in the spotlight, that is, in play). I guess likewise for the other staffing icon types. A mixed bag, mostly because of my nitpicking: a 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: On the one hand, it takes away from the pain of using Enterprise-E icon personnel which are poor staffers, and on the other, it encourages the use of AU cards and other specially staffed/staffing cards. Use both effects by reporting your E-E bridge crew directly to the Enterprise-E and then moving them to other ships nearby. In effect, you've got a fast moving outpost working for you. The most often occuring icon though, is AU, and you can do a lot with it. AU ships are harder to staff, but now, if you lose one of your staffers in dilemma resolution or personal combat, you can report another directly to the understaffed ship. No stalling! With Space-Time Portal and Red Alert (your Crew Reassignment's best friend), you can take a ship back into hand and report it again fully staffed the following turn. Make the Enterprise-C come into play staffed! Who needs an outpost? Fun stuff. And don't forget it's a Captain's Order, downloadable by your commander at the Commander's Office or by Ready Room Door (which will protect it from nullification). Great card at 4.1.
TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) What started off as a way to quell whining players like us (about the E-E thing) developped into quite the bombshell.
PICTURE: Riker, Geordi and Troi corner Zefram Cochrane in Montana. The look on their faces says it all, or at least, tries to (Riker and Troi are a bit casual). This wasn't an obvious card to match an image to, I have to admit. There's no way to see what's going on on the ship, for example. But since the dilemma is a planet one, the pic is relatively well chosen. It still has to contend with a lot of blurry background and foreground, and dark colors. How 'bout a 3.3?
LORE: That's one generic title! It matches the situation perfectly however, and a great effect is stuck to it. Great explanation of the dilemma in the lore itself. To make it more generic, they could have made mention of the loss of contact with the ship, which, as we'll see under Trek Sense, makes this card truer to the series. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: This one is cool. Events on the planet become more difficult, and meanwhile, something bad happens aboard ship that forces personnel there to act as well. Happens all the time in the tv series, just to give everybody lines. The problem is that while a "complication in the mission" is easily assumed from the planet's side, no such problem is inferred to be fermenting aboard ship. Just what is going on up there? Bad case of the sneezes? (Would require something other than OFFICER.) Borg attack? What? The problem here is that anything that happens to a ship is already represented by a space (or space/planet) dilemma. Crisis does nothing to tell us what's going on. That's why, like in the movie, I would have liked for the card to mention a breakdown in communications between the ship and its Away Team. It would have gone a long way to make this one a real storyteller. An OFFICER has all the access codes and can give orders to no-name ensigns to get communications back. Doesn't work on the Borg side (they never lose communication). No, they apparently have some sort of intruder problem and require a couple of Defense Borg to solve it. Where are these intruders coming from? Maybe it's an attack by an NPC ship which must be promptly assimilated. Meanwhile, a Leader on the planet will solve the problem there. Why not? Leadership is the mark of a good improviser, which every crisis needs. The Borg will need Communications (giving orders through the Collective) and Defense (carrying out those orders). The thing with asking for personnel aboard ship at a planet mission is that we always assume that larger ships have dozens or hundreds of no-name ensigns which staff it. Where are THEY during this crisis? Can't they show any initiative? Apparently not. I suppose we could say the OFFICER is higher ranking and would be a department head (or higher). But what if she's just Giusti? She's got a card, that means she has the right stuff. Okay. Places around the middle, being made of both good and bad at 3.3.
SEEDABILITY: Forces your opponent to keep somebody aboard ship, which can be fun. Tell you why in an instant. As for the requirements themselves, they're nothing to rave about in and of themselves. A Leader is very easy to find, and so is an OFFICER. The Borg will be immediately stopped, the way scouting works, but they should have no trouble passing on the following turn, especially since they know they have to keep a couple of Defense Borg aboard the Cube. Hope they've got 3 in all! Still, your opponent has to shrink his Away Team in order to overcome the dilemma, which can work against those darned Mega-Away Teams. You may have other reasons to get a man aboard a ship alone. Looking to beam over and eliminate him? Use a card that targets a lone personnel? Extradition? Sleeper Trap? Then again, the opposing player may not want to leave his personnel alone. That dilutes the Away Team even more, and that spells Alien Parasites, etc. All in all, a cute dilemma that will work against some players, less against others (know thine enemy), and has room for strategy. A comborific 3.5.
TOTAL: 13.6 (68%) Pretty average across the board.
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