Siskoid's Rolodex...............First Contact

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the First Contact expansion set.

#4-A Change of Plans, Interrupt, Borg use only, FC
"Sensing that her plans for the interplexing beacon had been thwarted, the Borg Queen immediately implemented a new goal for the hive."
-Plays to do any or all of the following: discard your current objective; return it to your hand if you have Borg Queen in play; and download one Objective.

PICTURE: Taken pretty much from the moment she said the line about a change of plans, the Queen here looks pretty shaken with her throat exposed. She's suddenly vulnerable, and the card reflects that. Still, for someone who hasn't seen the movie, the pic seems to have little relationship with the title. A mixed review: 3.6

LORE: Straight forward, tells it like it is, no artifice. A solid 3.

TREK SENSE: The card is just like the events of the film. When avenues to one objective were blocked, the Queen changed that objective. The game text even gives her more power is she is present (makes sense). I give it a 4.

STOCKABILITY: Emminently stockable, it's a staple of any Borg deck. A must, but don't you wish your opponent couldn't Amanda Rogers it? 4.8.

TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) A good card with fairly standard lore and pic lowering its overall value.

#10-Abandon Mission, Event, 3-turn countdown, FC
"Jean-Luc Picard felt compelled to ignore his assigned patrol duties in the neutral zone and instead join the attack against the Borg."
-Plays on any ship with its matching commander or any Enterprise-E icon Personnel aboard. Crew may not attempt missions or beam off. Nullified if ship battles. (Immune to Kevin Uxbridge.)

PICTURE: I'm of the opinion that all of the cards showing Picard (Don't Call Me Ahab, Sense the Borg, etc.) are way better pics than his Personnel card. This one too. It shows his thoughtfulness during a great moment of the film (the Federation-Borg transmissions). Unfortunately, it's meant to indicate mission abandonment, so Picard seems full of indecision rather than resolute concentration. Off the mark a bit, but nice pic: a 3.

LORE: The generality present in other cards (like Alien Labyrinth) is absent here. This card isn't about abandoning any mission, it's about that one time J-P decided to go rogue in First Contact. Also, the lore makes it sound like a good thing (like A Change of Plans or something), but it's anything but. Your opponent plays it on YOUR ship as an obstacle. A little misplaced... a 1.5.

TREK SENSE: In the film, Picard abandons one mission in order to fulfill another. Here, the card prevents you from doing a mission (for a certain time) or beam off. Seems cowardly in comparison. Of course, the ship can battle and nullify the whole thing (just like in the movie?) But why can only movie bridge crew or matching commanders abandon their missions? Wouldn't a captainless crew consider such an option even more? The answer: game balance, NOT Trek sense. A lot of yeses and nos... in the final analysis, a 3.

STOCKABILITY: Matching commanders are more and more prevalent (doesn't it seem like everybody's a matching commander in the Bajoran affiliation?), so this card might get more and more use, whereas, you shouldn't count on your opponent playing Enterprise-E personnel. Romulans are probably to most affected. But so what? They can pretty much battle at will. Only the Federation will really have to wait the full three turns in most cases (unless you're playing Borg). It's good for a number of uses and opponents, but not always... a 3.1.

TOTAL: 10.6 (53%) A good card with risky uses and a design sacrificed on the altar of "everything must come from the movie".

#16-Activate Subcommands, Event, Borg use only, FC
"The Borg have huge numbers of available drones which normally perform internal functions for the collective. When a task is pending, some of these drones are activated."
-Downloads one Communication Borg drone, one Navigation Borg drone and one Defense Borg drone. Discard event and draw no cards this turn.

PICTURE: Three Borg (one for each subcommand), a frame I don't remember from the movie. I like the look of the three drones. They look very dead and blind. The card is dark but splashes of color highlight the whole. And the tilted perspective gives the spooky atmosphere found on many Borg cards. A definite 4.

LORE: Plain, technical text. It explains competently how drones can just appear on a ship. Better than average: 3.2.

TREK SENSE: The card is a lot like the show and film, with new drones replacing the old, coming out of nowhere, etc. No fireworks though. 3.

STOCKABILITY: Since the Borg made it onto the scene, it's remarkable how important deck management has become. (Same with Sites.) This is one of those management cards. Play one event = playing 3 Personnel. It's a must for Borg decks, not only for this ability, but for because it's so useful to probes (showing all three subcommand icons). Drawing no cards for the turn makes it balanced. A 4.8 for any Borg deck, adjusted for the interference of Computer Crash.

TOTAL: 15 (75%) It's one of the Borg deck staples, with a relatively cool image and design.

#22-Adapt: Modulate Shields, Interrupt, Borg use only, FC
"Borg quickly adopt countermeasures, such as drone energy shields, to foil any new weapon used against them. Remo9dulating an energy weapon helps only briefly."
-Plays and remains on a phaser or disruptor just used to stun or mortally wound one of your Communication Borg. Your Borg are immune to all weapons with that exact card title.

PICTURE: Terrible. It's really too bad all the FC cards had to come from FC - the Borg got gipped in the bargain. I really prefered the Borg's personal shields in the show to these. Look at them! A green wash of color painted over the film. Instead of cool Dune-ish polygonal constructs, the drone looks like its head is floating! We don't even see a weapon being used on the guy. No sir, I don't like it. A 1.

LORE: Standard lore, well written and adds a mention of the Countermeasure drone. A 4.

TREK SENSE: Seems to make sense, but doesn't. It states that if a Communication drone (which sends signals to other Borg) ever gets shot with a specific energy weapon, the entire Collective become immune to that specific weapon. So far, so good. BUT! Most Borg that get shot would be Defense drones, not Com drones. BUT! According to the wording (and the experts), if the targeted weapon is ever discarded, so is the Adapt. So your disruptor overloads and suddenly the Borg are no longer immune to your others. Makes you want to seed Kressari Rendezvous even more, don't it? A 1.5.

STOCKABILITY: Why do the Borg need this card? Because they all have the same Strength (5 or 7). That knowledge is a powerful tool for enemy attackers. They can easily calculate the Strength of a Borg Away team and swoop down on it with Phaser Rifles blatsing. At least with Adapt, the Borg have a fighting chance. It's not one of those must-haves, but close... and balanced so as not to break the game. A 4.

TOTAL: 10.5 (52.5%) A good card that really lost its points on non-game principles.

#29-Adapt: Negate Obstruction, Interrupt, Borg use only, FC
"The first experience of a hazard can be as dangerous to a Borg drone as to anyone. However, the Borg soon adapt and learn how to nullify it."
-Nullifies a Dilemma card (except a Q-related card) just encountered by your Communication Borg if your Borg encountered that dilemma (or a copy) on a previous turn.

PICTURE: First, it's got nothing to do with the card. Second, it's cool! We can always justify it by saying the Borg see any obstruction with that screwed-up view. Spooky and fun. I'll be generous and give it a 3.9.

LORE: Good text that explains succinctly the Borg experience. 4.7.

TREK SENSE: This is how Borg get through many dilemmas and that's fine. It's cool that thay can't possibly adapt to Q. I like that. (We just gotta see a Q vs. Borg episode some day!) Com drones are again necessary to get the information about how to pass a dilemma to the rest of the Collective. All makes a lot of sense. A 4.8

STOCKABILITY: A must for any Borg deck. The Borg just don't have the pool of skills required to pass many dilemmas (drones don't have Leadership or Empathy, for example), so you better keep a few Adapts handy just in case your Queen isn't. Even if your hive is still hit by Q stuff (and let's hope Decipher never makes a Q wall dilemma), it's still absolutely necessary. So it's a 5 for Borg players.

TOTAL: 18.4 (92%) A high score indeed, but then, it's an important card. Even more important that Outposts (which are getting replaceable).

#36-Admiral Hayes, Personnel, Federation, FC
"Admiral in charge of coordinating Starfleet's anti-Borg forces. Led a fleet in defense of a Borg cube attack on Earth in 2373."
-VIP; Each of your Federation ships at same location is WEAPONS +1 and SHIELDS +2; Leadership, Command

PICTURE: Decipher probably went through some trouble to set this picture straight as we only see the good Admiral on a skewed (from our perspective anyway) view screen, but the shadows on it are strange. That plus a boring pose (not much of a choice I'll admit). I give it a 1.7.

LORE: The lore fails to mention his role in the Dominion war, unknown at the time of card's issue. Other than that, it's pretty plain, but contains no errors. A 3.

TREK SENSE: By lending his massive combat experience to the rest of the fleet, he gives all ships present (those he coordinates with) bonuses to battle. That works and, I'm glad, isn't limited to Borg opponents. So his role in the Dominion war IS ackowledged after all. His Leadership is a natural, but VIP strikes me as wrong. Some admirals are VIPs, others are OFFICERs. I think the ones on the front lines, commanding fleets of ships, should be OFFICERs, leaving VIP status to the administrators and policy makers. Loses points at the end for a clean 4.

STOCKABILITY: Somewhat stockable. His lack of skills makes him a poor mission solver, but battle strategies (rarer for Feds) will stand to gain from his presence, especially against Borg (you'll need all the Shields and Weapons you can get). Middle of the line then, a 3.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) Personnel that doesn't quite pass the test, mostly because of its less than stellar pic. And the third Admiral to score exactly 11.7!

#43-Alas, Poor Queen, Interrupt, FC
"Like all cybernetic life forms, the Borg cannot survive without their organic components. Loss of the Queen brings chaos to order."
-Plays if Borg Queen (or Bluegill Queen) was just killed. All Borg (or Bluegills) in play of same player also die. (Immune to Amanda Rogers). OR Nullifies Regenerate.

PICTURE: The title and picture both pay hommage to Hamlet's "Alas, poor Yorrick" speech, and since I'm a BIG fan of Shakespeare, I've got to like this. Star Trek is steeped in Shakespeare anyway, so why not exploit it? Many episodes bear titles from Shakespeare, many of the actors started in Shakespearian theater (including Stewart, Avery and Shatner), Picard's a big fan as well... the list goes on and on. For the Borg Queen's skull, I give 4.2.

LORE: Good stuff. First comes an explanation of game text, then comes a nice little inversion of the Queen's own speech to Data ("I bring order to chaos"). This card brings chaos to order. Nice. A 4.6.

TREK SENSE: First, let me address the inclusion of Bluegills in here. They make sense in the context of Queen dies=drones die, but are excluded by the lore. Some points will be lost there. The first function works - we've seen that when the Queen dies, Borg drones are set a-sparking (and parasites simply die). And apparently, Amanda Rogers is too friendly with the Federation and its buddies to interfere. The second is like a weaker version of the first. While it doesn't kill the Borg in that instance, it does stop them from regenerating (maybe because you can't regenerate after your flesh disappears?). At times fuzzy, but more solid than not. A 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: Against the Borg, it can be very valuable (perhaps in the Q's Tent). How would you feel if your opponent's Queen died and you didn't have Alas stocked? Missed opportunity, right? But you can't be sure a player will play Borg (unless he's notorious for it). That's what the second function is for, but Regenerate, while commonly seen, isn't a given either. Tent this puppy. A 3.8.

TOTAL: 16.5 (82.5%) A good card, but strictly reactive. If your opponent doesn't play ball, you've just wasted a card slot.

#50-Alyssa Ogawa, Personnel, Federation, FC
"Lieutenant (j.g.) Alyssa Ogawa married shipmate Andrew Powell in 2370. A nurse assistant to Dr. beverly Crusher, she is studying to be a doctor."
-MEDICAL, Biology, Exobiology; Download Medical Kit; Staff

PICTURE: A more serious picture of Ogawa than the premiere version, it shows her new maturity (plus, fighting Borg in First Contact was no laughing matter). Not much to say about the pic other than that... a 3.

LORE: Much is added to the lame-duck lore of the premiere Ogawa, including her marriage and her studies in medecine.While the extra info is welcome, the text is pretty dry. A 2.9.

TREK SENSE: She is of course Medical with related skills. Her medical studies have added Exobiology to the already mastered Biology and an extra point of Cunning. Newer still is her special download of Medical Kit. As a nurse, it is safe to assume she keeps one close to her at all times. Of course, a lot of equipment should be downloadable by that logic... a 3.3.

STOCKABILITY: Use the other Ogawa in a Mission specialist deck if you must, but switch to FC during the course of the game, cuz she's just plain superior. Now, she can solve Evaluate Terraforming all by her lonesome like her mentor Dr. Crusher. Her download is very useful in providing extra Medicals at the drop of a hat (or drop of blood, whatever) or extra Equipment in case something targets your more valuable Artifact or Equipment card. With First Contact, Alyssa joins the ranks of great Federation medical personnel. A 4.1

TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) A good addition to the game with unspectacular design.

#57-Android Headlock, Interrupt, FC
"Although drones are physically stronger than humanoids, they cannot always overcome Soong-type androids. Data has strangled, thrown and 'disarmed' various Borg."
-Mortally wounds a Borg drone, Jem'Hadar, Rogue Borg or holographic personnel who just engaged your android in combat. (Android engages next adversary.) OR Nullifies Borg Kiss.

PICTURE: I wonder how the frame where "pager-face" (the drone who dies many many times in First Contact) actually gets his neck broken looked. Still, this is a nice pic. Data's hand looks forceful, the spouting steam in the background adds color and a sense of urgency. A definite 3.8.

LORE: It contains a fatal flaw. "Though drones are physically stronger than humanoids." Really? All I see is 5s and 7s... fairly low. Sure, STRENGTH includes what we might call "battle savvy", but still... It also doesn't acknowledge the other affected groups (Jem'Hadar, ect.). The second part is relatively funny though. A 2.5.

TREK SENSE: The first function makes sense. It uses the android's strength and speed to its advantage by letting him attack two opponents at once. Affected groups include drones, Rogue Borg (much the same), holopersonnel (artificial creatures like parts of the Borg?) and Jem'Hadar (artificial creatures in the biological sense?) I don't always see the connection. Why can't androids break Klingon, human and Romulan necks as well? Programming? What about Lore? Would he care if the opposing personnel were artificial or not? The second part supposes that Data responds to the Queen's advances by snapping her wrinkly little neck. It's a game function and nothing more. It doesn't necessarily follow Trek sense since Borg Kiss doesn't either (as we will see). A fuzzy 2.8.

STOCKABILITY: If you're planning on fighting the Borg or Dominion (both able to jump your ship), and have androids (hey, they're useful), this card is a good idea. You want it at the right time, so maybe in the Tent. Borg, you can probably already handle, but having your android kill two (the second, thanks to high STRENGTH) is good. Jem'Hadar are probably tougher. Holopersonnel don't often go into personnel battles unless Safety Protocols have been Deactivated though. As far as the second function, again it depends on your opponent playing Borg, and it's not the end of the world if your opponent gets away with it. Limited to certain situations... a 3.

TOTAL: 12.1 (60.5%) A passing grade for a card that made Away Team battles more popular.

#64-Antique Machine Gun, Artifact, AU, FC
"21st century automatic weapon. Developed for faction wars against ECON in World War III. No stun setting. Rapid-fires small-caliber bullets. Owned and often used by Lily Sloane."
-Use as Equipment card. At start of personnel battle, targets two opposing personnel or Rogue Borg (random selection). Mortally wounds targets (only stuns androids).

PICTURE: Nothing great, but nothing terrible. Kind of odd that an "antique" looks way more advanced that anything we have now (an antique to our heroes, of course). An ok 2.8.

LORE: "Often used by Lily Sloane"? Everything was fine 'til I hit this line. A 3.8 for the sheer detail.

TREK SENSE: Makes you wonder why people in the 24th century use disruptors and phasers when good old-fashioned projectile weapons do so much damage. The sweeping nature of the fire is figured in (targets two personnel before the fight even starts) and it mortally wounds. Androids are stunned, though Data didn't seem stunned at all when Lily shot him (maybe androids are "stopped" as they become living bullet-proof shields). It doesn't boost the Away Team's overall strength though. While this would be too powerful for a card, we're talking Trek Sense here, not gameplay balance. An average 3.

SEEDABILITY: Planning to participate in personnel battles? Couple this with Andoid Headlocks and Phaser Burns and you're really doing some damage. Cut down large Away Teams before going man-to-man. Limited to currently less popular strategies but we're getting there (where's that garrison I just posted?)... A 3 and climbing.

TOTAL: 12.6 (63%) Like other personnel batte cards, the Dominion will probably boost Antique Machine Gun's seedability.

#71-Assign Mission Specialists, Objective, FC
-Play on table. You may download to one outpost up to two different mission specialists that you do not already have in play. Also, while in play, each of your mission specialists scores 5 points whenever they use their skill to meet a mission requirement. You may volontarily discard objective at start of any of your turns. (Unique.)

PICTURE: I may be mistaken, but in order to assemble as many non-bridge crew personnel, Decipher had to digitally insert some of them into the frame. Azar in particular looks superimposed. So it's cool, and the orange is a nice, rarely seen color in the game. At the same time, more than half the personnel pictured are NOT mission specialists. What do the designers have to say for themselves? Drops to a 2.9.

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

TREK SENSE: Naturally calls up a couple of mission specialists to an outpost. Since they are specialists, whenever they use their specialty, the mission presumably yields greater results (those extra points). It seems Christopher Hobson is better at Computer Skill than Data, since he devotes all of his time to that one skill. Fair enough. Discarding (in order to replay) is fine since many missions require different specialties. An impeccable 5 that drops to 4.7 Trekwise now that it's been errataed to be NOT a Captain's Order. It certainly sounds like one.

SEEDABILITY/STOCKABILITY: Used to have a very high score before the errata, but it had to be limited somehow. Thank you Decipher, by the way. It's still very strong. It allows you to download (even at the start of the game) two personnel which will not only help you solve missions quicker, but also let you earn extra points for doing so. Two personnel, that's 10 points right there, and with many missions worth 30 points, that's three of them yielding 90 points. Do the math to see how many you're missing. You can also send a troup of mission specialists to a high yield, multiple skill mission like Hunt for DNA Program to get a one mission victory (with a little help from self-seeded dilemmas). The card also allows you to download again and again if you're stocking more than one. Of course, Bajorans and Cardassians don't yet have any specialists, but they can you Non-Aligneds, no? And all we've lost to the errata is the means to download the card. Once a powerful 5, now a 4.5.

TOTAL: 16.12 (80.6%) High marks! Without the errata, this could have gone as high as 17.1 (85.5%). So it didn't lose much.

#78-Assimilate Counterpart, Objective, Hidden Agenda, Borg use only, FC
-Plays on table. Target an opponent's unique male personnel. Your Borg may beam to and battle target's crew or Away Team. One of your Borg who engages target in combat may abduct target. If target is occupying an Assimilation Table, you may probe:
#[Com], [Nav], [Def]: Assimilated as counterpart. Place on target. Worth 5 points per [skill icon] while objective on target.

PICTURE: Nice, if a bit too dark. The Queen is shown seductively assimilating Picard. While Locutus never actually looked like that (he was a chalky Borg, not a sweaty Borg), this is from a distorted memory/dream. A lot to like - a 3.9.

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

TREK SENSE: My first review of a Borg objective! All of them are Hidden Agendas (you never know what the Borg are up to) and Borg-use only (of course). They all require probing as well. What I like about probing is that the selected icons are usually subtly related to the effect they produce. It doesn't show so much on Assimilation objectives, but other cards will bear this out. Now, let's look at the card: Counterparts must be unique males and must be targeted ahead of time. They must be unique because those characters have more push than the others (they don't want to assimilate all of Simon Tarses's knowledge). Male, because they are looking for a "counterpart" to the Queen - a Borg King (hi, Chris!). Except that there have been no instances of this in the show, since gender is irrelevant, they could have done without this limitation. Also, there's no Trek reason why their can't be more than one counterpart (just for different affiliations). The Borg are strong enough to assimilate all of the Alpha Quadrant's peoples simultaneously, no? It all boils down to game balance. The process of acquiring a counterpart is somewhat involved, but that makes it true to the show. Your Borg must battle, abduct and place the selected counterpart on an assimilation table. As for probing, all three subcommand icons get you a counterpart. Why all three? Because it takes all those resources to nab a counterpart. You'll need Communications to contact a ship, Navigation to get to him in the first place and Defense to battle the crew. See how it works? That's why Defense isn't a good probe for Establish Gateway, a task that needs no combat. The points for your counterpart are equivalent to what he brings to your collective (his skills). A lot of sense, within the limits set by counterpart rules. A 4.5.

STOCKABILITY: Depends on your strategy, and the Borg are a stretegy-minded people, more so than any other affiliation. You only really need Counterparts for Homeworld assimilation, a high-yield objective to be sure. For one, it gets you a lot more points (plus those on the Counterpart) AND restricts your opponent from getting his affiliated personnel and ships out on the table. Assimilate Counterpart also lets you attack a crew or Away team and almost automatically abduct a good personnel. You gain his skills and your opponent loses them. That should be enough of an incentive in many cases. For easy pickings, play a number of Love Interests to get male personnel defenseless on spaceline ends (where you have your Transwarp Network Gateways incidently) and grab 'em easily. Of couse, if you're swarming rather than cubing, this might not be part of your strategy. A solid 4.

TOTAL: 16.53 (82.67%) A high score, but then Borg objectives are instrumental to their success.

#85-Assimilate Homeworld, Objective, Hidden Agenda, Borg use only, 40 points, FC
-Plays on table. Target both an unassimilated homeworld on spaceline and your matching counterpart. Your Borg may scout that homeworld. If your counterpart is at that spaceline location, you may probe:
#Communication: Assimilated. Place on homeworld. Cards of that affiliation (except AU cards) may not report to any outpost for rest of game.

PICTURE: Once you start looking at the details, this one is great. Assimilated Earth has brown oceans, green clouds are metallic continents. Cool! When I looked at my corner of the world, Atlantic Canada, I thought the creators had glossed over Nova Scotia. It's either missing badly drawn. But then I saw the teeth marks in Quebec (over by Hudson Bay) and I thought: "The Borg have been redesigning the landscape!" A scary 4.5.

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

TREK SENSE: It's like most other Borg objective, secret, borg-only, etc. Just like in the show, you need a counterpart to speak on behalf of the Borg to assimilate a homeworld, yadda yadda yadda. Once the homeworld is assimilated, it gets interesting. The card postulates that the affiliation would be unable to report anybody new for the rest of the game. This is where common sense falters. Are we to believe that every affiliated personnel is sitting at home on the homeworld until needed, at which point they are ferried to the Outpost (which is never on the homeworld)? Sure, there are a lot of Klingons hanging round Qo'noS, but not so many Vulcans enjoying the beaches of Earth. AU personnel are of course immune since they probably come from Borg-less universes. The probe also lacks real kick. What I like about probes is when the icon actually has something to do with the result. Here, Communication is obviously meant to represent the Counterpart speaking for the Borg, but wouldn't other icons be relevant as well? Defense to battle, Navigation to get there, etc. Of course, the card would be terribly unbalanced if all three subcommands were on there. Some good, some bad... a 3.7.

STOCKABILITY: You can easily build your Cube deck around it. Since it's a high yield objective (40 points plus some 25-30 points for an assimilated counterpart), you could assimilate a couple of homeworlds and end the game there. Furthermore, you're also rewarded by killing your opponent's reporting ability. Do it early in the game and he'll wish he had stocked more Non-Aligneds and AUs. Note that Bajorans, Cardassians and the Dominion currently have only one AU personnel between the three of them (Garak), so they don't have much of a chance for survival. With 6 homeworlds to choose from, and a seventh certainly on the way for the Ferengi, you can use only homeworld missions, then pick and choose which ones you need to assimilate. And you don't even have to assimilate counterpart these days since we've got a pre-made one for every affiliation save the Dominion thanks to EFC. And while the assimilating the Dominion homeworld will require  more effort, it'll really destroy them since they can't report Alpha Quadrant Non-Aligneds too early. The probe is more difficult, but not incredibly so. A heartfelt 4.8.

TOTAL: 17.33 (86.67%) Ranks high, but then the Borg were very well designed.

#92-Assimilate Planet, Objective, Hidden Agenda, Borg use only, 25 points, FC
-Plays on table. Target an unassimilated planet on spaceline (except a homeworld) with a point box showing at least 35 points. Your Borg may scout that planet. If you have Borg at that spaceline location, you may probe:
#Communication, Defense: Assimilated. Place on planet. May download one Objective card.

PICTURE: Veeeeeeeeerrry nice, but slightly inappropriate. I like the huge menacing Borg Cube coming upon the beautiful pearl of a planet. It's great. Really. It is. Problem is, that's Earth out there, and Earth is a homeworld exempt from this objective. I'm still not chalking off a lot of points, because I really think the card has a sense of drama: 4.

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

TREK SENSE: Everything's I've said in the past about Borg objectives holds true for this one as well (about the icons, etc.). As for the rest, a planet you can target is one that is as yet unassimilated (duh) and worth 35 points or more. Why that last bit (aside from play balance) though? Points are more a mark of how difficult a certain mission is than the amount of assimilateable material to be found there. The difference between planets and homeworlds is also iffy as somebody's homeworld is just a planet to the next guy. We have planets out there that are seats of government, but the Borg won't recognize them. The probing requires Communication (contact the planet) and Defense (fight the inhabitants), but no Navigation (any planet will do, no need to chart a course). A small discussion on scouting planets if I may: while I agree with the system (again in order to attain a balance between the Borg and other affiliations), there is no real reason why drones couldn'r scout in pairs or trios. The Borg Scout Hugh was on had five drones. That's the only instance I know from the show where a planet was possibly being scouted. While I'm not holding the scouting rules against the card, it lost some points all by itself: a 2.8.

STOCKABILITY: An important part of Cube decks that have the means to ferry large amounts of drones on scouting missions. Just make sure you're using high point missions in case your opponent isn't. Note that it's one of the few metagame cards that's actually useful beyond its metagame aspect. This is the card that makes non-Borg players use lower point missions and actually risk having to complete more in order to achieve the 100 points necessary for victory. I happen to think it makes for more interesting games, and takes some lesser planet missions come out for a stroll. Ok, back to the card... the trimmings are pretty standars, and the probe is okay. Even if you don't probe Defense (it's not as common), Communication is quite easy. Added benefits: assimilating a planet with a facility, borgs the whole place and cripples your opponent. A 4.8.

TOTAL: 15.47 (77.35%) A staple Borg card.

#99-Assimilate Starship, Objective, Hidden Agenda, Borg use only, FC
-Plays on table. Targets an opponent's ship. Your Borg may scout that ship. If your Borg have Computer Skill aboard that ship, you may probe:
#Communication, Defense: Assimilated. Place on ship. May download one Objective card.

PICTURE: An assimilated Voyager (with the green lights showing) would probably have been more appropriate, but all of FC had to come from the First Contact movie. What we get is an assimilated corridor with a few drones tooling around. The shafts of light keep the image dynamic, but it's all at once too dark to see much detail, and too light to be at all menacing. A 2.6.

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

TREK SENSE: Of course, it shares a number of icons and particularities with other Borg Objectives. I've said my piece on those (Hidden Agenda, Borg only, etc.) As for the rest, it requires the Borg to pick a ship to assimilate. Scouting a ship requires the Borg to not face battle during their stay aboard. It also requires the Borg to have Computer Skill to get into the ship's computer systems and take them over (sort of like commandeering). That's all fine. The probes are pretty standard: Communication to work the ship's systems, Defense to fight the crew. No Navigation? I guess they don't want to fly the ship. (Of course, the creators had to choose between the three subcommands.) All in all, pretty good - a 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: Less stockable than most of its fellows, at least, until recently, and even so. The main point against Assimilate Starship is that it gives you no points. Is it really worth it then? All you get out of it is an extra ship, with stats lower than a Cube in all probability. Sure you get to use some new special equipment, but there's nothing really exciting out there for the Borg. It's gotten better recently with the addition of Add Distinctiveness. When you board the ship, those personnel are gonna go kicking and screaming. As long as they battle your Borg, you won't be able to probe and assimilate the ship, probably requiring your drones to get rid of the offending crew. With Talon drones aplenty, you can do a lot of assimilation during the fight, scoring points. When personnel attack your Borg, it gives you the perfect excuse to send over as large a contingent of drones as you wish. Once they are out of the way, probe's fairly easy. Still the runt of the pack - a 2.

TOTAL: 11.33 (55.67%) Doesn't quite make it, mostly because it lacks a point box.

#107-Assimilate This!, Interrupt, -10 points, FC
"Proving that resistance is not always futile, Worf gave the Borg something else to assimilate."
-Nullifies Build Interplexing Beacon OR Crosis OR Orbital Bombardment. (Also, owner of that card loses points, even if playing Borg.)

PICTURE: Pictured is the first part of the game text only (but then, that's the only one with actual Trek Sense), and it's a nice image. The jettisoned interplexing beacon is vague enough that it could be any kind of Borg machinery, the scene has drama as the weapons fire never quite reaches its target, and Worf's position is well balanced. I think Earth in the background, while lovely, sort of distracts from the overall picture, but I won't quibble. Not this time. A 4.5.

LORE: Some nice humor and a play on a Borg catch phrase. Short, but memorable and goes hand in hand with the card's title. A 4.2.

TREK SENSE: Here's where it might go sour. Technically, only the first function should be considered "Trek Sense". After all, Worf's line (and action) comes from the destruction of the interplexing beacon. But I'm willing to look at the larger picture and suppose that the same type of action can be taken against other Borg cards. We haven't seen Orbital Bombardment yet, but we can pretty much guess what it'll do. I don't expect it to be Borg only though, so why would you ever say "assimilate this!" to the Klingons bombing your landed shuttle? Even worse, saying it to Crosis is a bit odd. He's a Rogue Borg, not so much interested in assimilating cultures. The card works when you think of the action (shooting something Borg), but not when you apply the card's title. Am I splitting hairs? The point loss is a result of not accomplishing some goal in a disastrous manner. Again, works with BIB, but not with Crosis. (I don't know about Orbital Bombardment.) Not as sour as all that, I give it 2.7.

STOCKABILITY: It nullfies three cards, costing the card's owner 10 points (even if Borg). Like all nullifiers, it requires that your opponent use those cards. The selection isn't very broad in this case. For one thing, Build Interplexing Beacon is the last in a long chain of Objectives designed to disrupt the spaceline. The strategy is a difficult one to pull off, and most Borg players won't be touching it. In any case, even if he does, he can still accomplish Stop First Contact without resorting to BIB. So much for that one. Skipping to the last function, Orbital Bombardment doesn't yet exist. That's another one in the dumpster. Even when it becomes available, you have to count on your opponent using a card that probably requires him to count on you using landable ships. Eeeeech. That leaves Crosis, but the worst thing about Rogue Borg Mercenaries isn't that they can kill your crew, it's that even one RBM stops your ship and crew. Crosis won't figure in most RBM plays. A terrible 1.1.

TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) This is one card that's great before you get to the game text. Too bad that's what you use to play the game, eh?

#115-Assimilation Table, Equipment, Borg use only, FC
"Functions: Equip drone initiates with specialized adaptive implants. Access counterpart biological data; encode heuristic pathways. Augment collective distinctiveness."
-Holds one personnel (occupant killed if table destroyed). Once per turn, in place of one card draw, you may download to occupant an Implant card.

PICTURE: A set shot rather than a prop shot. Not much of a choice since the equipment is so large. I like the center stage feel given to the card, with ceiling beams sort of arcing overhead like Hollywood searchlights. Nice simmetry, but where there's symmetry, there's a certain static energy to the image. I'd say this falls in the average: a 3.

LORE: The creators slip into the Borg linguistic mode for this card. Maybe they should also have gone ahead and capitalized "Functions" like on the Borg drones. The rest is very Borg and, I'll go as far as to say, impeccable. Even the use not listed in the game text (relevant to Counterpart assimilation) is given space. A big fat 4.8.

TREK SENSE: The only Borg-only equipment we have for now, the Assimilation Table has two uses - the first, to graft Implants to drones, the second as a necessary component to the Assimilate Counterpart objective. Either requires the target personnel to be "held" by the Table (makes sense). That personnel also becomes vulnerable to Disruptor Overload, blowing up with it. Again, very sensical. The first use of the table, to affix Implants on drones, is logical though not supported by onscreen evidence. Seems to me the Borg in First Contact were very content to put implants on people in any old hallway. I'd say the Table is more hygienic, but apparently, hygiene is irrelevant. Are we to see, as in First Contact, some flesh implants for androids? Those are just about the only ones we see planted on somebody held by the Table. The second use, for Counterparts, IS shown in the film and episodes, and I really can't argue about it. One last strange thing: though I've never seen it done in a game, the Table, as Equipment, can be carried around by a lone Borg going from one Nor's site to the next, no? Like I said, strange. Not perfect: 2.9.

STOCKABILITY: I don't think this is used much for downloading Implant cards. For one thing, there's only one available right now, Ocular Implants, and you can use on non-tabled drones in any case. Since the download replaces a card card draw, it's not really free. You would choose what was more important to you - a card play (the Event) or a card draw (the download). Plus, your personnel is actually in danger of getting blown up by a Disruptor Overload, discarding your equipment, personnel and implant in one clean kill. No, the real use here is to assimilate a Counterpart, and by extension, a link in the long chain of cards needed for the lucrative Assimilate Homeworld. At least it plays directly aboard your Borg Cube. The card is either absolutely necessary or barely useful. A 3.5.

TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) Like many Borg cards, designed to be absolutely necessary to the affiliation... at least, to certain strategies.

#123-Assimilation Tubules, Interrupt, Borg use only, FC
"Specially equipped drones use tubule-shaped talons capable of penetrating any known alloy or energy field. Nanoprobes in the bloodstream recode the victim's DNA."
-Plays during battle after a winner is determined. Your Talon Drone may select one opposing mortally wounded personnel present to instead be assimilated.

PICTURE: Where the Talon drone meets the guy from Mercy Kill. A nifty picture, shocking and deadly, but not as good as Talon drone itself. A cool 3.8.

LORE: The part about penetrating any known alloy is filler as far as I'm concerned (it's not justification for android assimilation - see below), but the rest is both accurate and well-written. The whole DNA thing sorta sheds doubt on the Borg's ability to assimilate androids and exocomps though, since they don't have desoxyribonucleic acid to call their own. Average at 3.

TREK SENSE: Once a somebody's been severely incapacitated (mortally wounded), your Talon drone (Function: Assimilation) can go pick him up and tubule him instead of letting him die. It works. The Talon drone alone can assimilate personnel it has personnaly stunned, but once the battle is over, it acts like a vulture and goes for the carrion. How do tubules affect androids though, remains the question to be answered. Androids are immune to DNA-related dilemmas... but what about DNA-related interrupts? Maybe androids should always be assmilated with an Assimilation Table? A little hole in logic cuts the score down to 4, so I guess the card's pretty good otherwise.

STOCKABILITY: If you're using Talon drones in your Borg deck (in other words, you're going after a Counterpart of some Add Distinctiveness points), you should at least stock one Assimilation Tubules. Once per game, a Talon drone downloads it. Just wait until the end of the battle, get your tubules from the deck and assimilate that mortally wounded Worf Son of Mogh. Before Add Distinctiveness, stockability points would have been much lower, but since the incident came out, assimilation is more viable. It used to be fun, but now it's worth points. A 3.9.

TOTAL: 14.7 (73.5%) A good little card that goes hand in hand with the very cool Talon drone.

#130-Awaken, Interrupt, Borg use only, FC
"Each Borg drone is tied into a sophisticated subspace communications network, allowing quick activation in response to a threat."
-Downloads one Communication or Navigation drone. OR Plays at start of battle to download to one of your ships at that location one Defense drone (two if opponent initiated the battle).

PICTURE: I'm generally not too impressed by the pictures on Borg personnel cards, but the shots of drones on other card types are cool! Like this guy: extreme close-up shot, the laser streaming from his eye, even a slightly sleepy expression. It looks like an awakening, with the laser eye capturing the sudden surprise with a flash of motion. A good 3.8.

LORE: A very good explanation of how the card works in terms of Trek sense while not straying from established Borg canon. Another good score: 3.5.

TREK SENSE: Since Borg can report on Cubes already, simulating how a great number of drones are aboard waiting to be activated, Awaken serves as a Red Alert of sorts for them, activating needed drones at the drop of a hat. The second function allows you to wake one or two Defense drones, since they will be the most needed. Two if your opponent attacked is a good reaction for the Borg. Now, while this works, there's no Trek reason why you shouldn't be able to download a Defense drone in times of peace, but that doesn't disturb me overmuch. A cool 4.

STOCKABILITY: Very stockable. While you don't get as many drones as you would using Activate Subcommands, it also doesn't cost you your card play. In fact, if you care to put a lot of these in your deck, you could conceivably get just as many (or more!) drones by playing a number of them. You can also download them at any time, even during your opponent's turn. And great surprise factor when you get two Defense drones during a battle. It gives you great flexibility too, as you can decide that since you're going to win the personnel battle anyway, might as well get a couple of Talon drones in to collect some Add Distictiveness points. And so what if you overcharge your deck with them? They make great probes. A superlative 4.5.

TOTAL: 15.8 (78%) A staple of the Borg economy and foreign market. (I'm not sure wht I meant by that.)

#137-Balancing Act, Dilemma, space/planet, FC
"Deadly plasma coolant flooded main engineering through a rupture openend by Data. Survival depended upon balance and strength. Resistance was futile."
-Each player whose missions with point boxes are mostly space or mostly planet (by a difference of 3 or more) loses 50 points (even if playing Borg).

PICTURE: It's a beautifully illustrated card. The perspective is imaginative and fun, the rolling gas below is a nice golden color, and it even took me a while to see the tiny Data pulling on the Borg Queen's leg. And it goes with the card title, if not its game text. A 4.6.

LORE: What is the lore talking about here? The first sentence clearly explains the picture. The last one makes little sense in that context. It's more a comment on the game text. The middle sentence plays the bridge between the two, seemingly talking about both the picture and the game text. Nice how there's a balancing act within the lore, eh? Add to that the cute "resistance was futile" crack (it's an FC card after all) telling all players that they now HAVE to seed a balance of planet and space missions, and you've got a winner lore DESPITE the card's other shortcomings (i.e., Trek Sense). A wonderful 4.8.

TREK SENSE: None. Zero. Nada. Zip. I remember some discussion on the boards when the card first came out, about how this dilemma should have been about having a personnel fall in the plasma, etc. I'm glad it wasn't - I think Balancing Act is much better the way it is - but as far as this Rolodex category goes, it's not gonna score very high. In fact, even the principle behind has no basis in Trek. Why couldn't a few weeks' worth of missions (what a 100-point game might amount to) be all planet or all space? No reason. Here it comes... 0!

SEEDABILITY: What I like about this card is that you don't even have to seed it for it to have an effect. It's great how, except for battle overhauls and fitting in new card types, Decipher doesn't change the rules too much. Instead of forcing us to use a balanced spaceline, a card now does the same. So it doesn't exclude unbalanced spacelines, but makes them riskier. Are you really going to take the chance that you will hit a Balancing Act and lose 50 points? Well, you could. Now that most spacelines have become balanced out of habit, Balancing Act has given way to other dilemmas. And you can take advantage of that. Still, it makes for a good reason to play fair. There are less frustrated players out there with nowhere to seed their planet-only dilemmas. It makes for a better playing environment. A goodly 3.3.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) Two huge scores and a zero pretty much makes the overall card an average one. I guess you could say the score is balanced.

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