Siskoid's Rolodex............Fractured Time (2)

< Previous 20................................................................................................................Next 20 >

To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Fractured Time set.


#2417-Out of Options, Event, Cost: 1, BC /FT/

-Decay: 3. (When there are three cards on this event, destroy it.) To play this event, you must command three [Rom] personnel. Plays in your core. When an opponent begins a mission attempt, examine his or her hand and choose a card to place on this event. When this event is destroyed, return each card here to its owner's hand.

"We are not leaving here. And neither are you."


PICTURE: Color's not as vibrant as I would like (especially when green in involved), but it's a good planet-bound version of something like Outgunned. I like the Romulans vs. Klingon aspect of the mise-en-scène as well. A likeable 3.5.


LORE: A bit ordinary perhaps, but it does its job, which is help explain the game text. Still, slightly generic. A 3.1.


TREK SENSE: A bit glib in its execution... rather conceptual, actually... but it's not a bad concept. The Romulans catch you at their secret camp (they are not represented by any cards in play at that location) and grab some resource of yours (but unfortunately, never something you have in play at that location either). Ok, so maybe the camp is somewhere else, and the resource is at that somewhere (in "Birthright", the Enterprise is attempting a mission, but Worf was in your hand off on his own). Like I said, pretty glib. The connection between attempting a mission (any mission) and this trap is tenuous at best. Now, while the captured card is indeed "Out of Options", the more stuff you kidnap (I guess, these would be resources sent to find the first resource lost), the more options you give the hostages (I don't want to say captive, cuz that's not what they are, apparently), and when that number hits 3, they find a way to escape together. It's an interesting idea, but of course, it may tank when applied to different cards (how do you capture an interrupt? where does the crew of a captured ship go? etc.). The Cost seems a bit low for this undertaking, depending on the cards captured, though I admit the Romulan camp on the show wasn't really fortified. Still, 1 counter doesn't account for the camp, its weapons, and its ability to capture and hold 2-3 cards. The ideas the card contains do get it to 1.9.

1E TREK SENSE: No problem with Cost, but the rest of the review stands as is. A 2.


STOCKABILITY: A cheap Event (so it's good for escalation) that the Romulans can use to temporary drain an opponent's hand of useful cards. When an opponent attempts a mission, and before you slap down your first dilemma, you can look into that opponent's hand (useful in itself) and remove a card of your choice to place here. Only after 3 mission attempts (this goes by much faster in multi-player games, be warned) are cards here released, but you can either remove a card that could be used to help the mission attempt along (especially to cheat you out of your chosen dilemmas' effects), or else something you don't want to see reported into play over the next couple turns. Since the event is non-unique, you can play lots (helping Escaping Detection, for example) and remove as many cards as you have OoOs in play! Wanna see your opponent spend all his counters on card draws after that? ;-) You can even combine the effects with Romulans that also take out an opposing hand, like Mirok, Devious Sela, Sirol, Toraan, Toreth and Vreenak. It's all temporary unless you can actually stall an attempt, and sacrificial lambs may well be sent off alone just to get those cards back. Still some good interference (a The Dreamer/Dream fodder). Hits 4.1.

1E STOCKABILITY: Out of Options isn't really any cheaper than any other Event in 1E, and you certainly don't have access to all the Romulans I mentioned above, but that may be balanced by the fact you can't spend counters to draw cards anymore. Hand depletion may well be crippling to certain decks. Fewer cheater cards also make this card less useful in this environment, but it still manages to score 3.7.


TOTAL: 12.6 (63%) A definite option.

1E TOTAL: 12.3 (61.5%) Less definite, but interesting.


#2430-Quantum Incursions, Event, Cost: 2, BC /FT/

-Plays in your core. At the start of each of your turns, if you command an [AU] personnel, you may choose any number of cards in your hand and set them aside face down. Draw an equal number of cards, then put the cards you set aside on top of your deck in any order.

"The barriers between quantum realities are breaking down. Other realities are emerging into our own."


PICTURE: Beautiful! The colors are shiny, the big saucer section creates real contrast with the tiny alternate Enterprises, and it's just a cool, iconic moment! A really neat 4.8.


LORE: From the same moment, does the job, but doesn't inspire much more. A 3.


TREK SENSE: Quite mechanical, the idea is that if you have AU personnel in play (and thus parallel realities), these realities can come into play, taking the place of cards from "our world" (your hand), while those resources go out of our universe and into the deck. It doesn't quite reach the cool pictured moment, does it? Not at all in fact. The concept that your deck and hand are separate universes is a fallacy, and to top it off, this extremely rare occurrence has a low Cost. A low 0.8.

1E TREK SENSE: Cost isn't a factor, of course, but the card scans much the same. In any case, the fact that AU personnel in 1E may be from the past or future instead of a parallel doesn't help matters. And what about AU ships, events and dilemmas? Couldn't they be triggers? Oops, and we just dropped down to 0.6.


STOCKABILITY: Card manipulation, AU style. All you need is a single AU personnel (note that there aren't a lot yet, since AU-ness has been split into three) and a couple counters (pretty cheap) to take any cards in your hand and basically place them atop your deck, but not before you replace them with an equal number of card draws. There's no card limit, so you could cycle your entire hand this way. It's a useful tool at the beginning of your turn, certainly. Redeems itself with a 4.1.

1E STOCKABILITY: Even better! First, there are a lot more AU personnel in 1E, and many ways to capitalize on them. Second, wouldn't this be a great way for AU Borg Counterparts to rig probes? Rises to a strong 4.3.


TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) Cool as heck, but lacking in the Trek Sense department.

1E TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) Nip here, tuck there, it comes out the same.


#2443-Quarantine, Event, Cost: 4, unique /FT/

-Decay: 5. (When there are five cards on this event, destroy it.) Q; Plays in your core. When your dilemma is about to be overcome, place it on this event instead. When this event is destroyed, the player on your right places all dilemmas here face up beneath his or her mission.

"Q. What's going on here? Where's the anomaly?" "Where's your mommy? I don't know."

PICTURE: Q can be entertaining, and here, in ageing make-up with his big horn, he's fairly funny and unusual-looking. It's a good close-up overall, though the color palette is very drab. A 3.4.

LORE: Q mishearing is good for a chuckle, though not a big one. I much prefer the scene in "Tapestry" where he misreads Picard's name on a florist card myself. Still, props for getting a title that starts with the letter Q. A 3.3.

TREK SENSE: Very, very obscure. It's a Q-card, alright, but beyond that, it requires a lot of work to piece together. Conceptually, Q acts like he doesn't understand your question, or anything else for that matter, just like you refuse to admit that a dilemma has been overcome. Q can basically suspend the victory because he isn't done toying with you. Yeah, that works. On the show, Q episodes frequently ended just where the crew started, as if they were never on that adventure. They were Quarantined from the universe, if you will, and Q would send them more obstacles just when the overcame the last. Still, his patience has limits, and the Quarantine decays as he gets bored. Is this the 2E version of a Q-Flash? Conceptually, it's fine, but in reality, there are some bugs. Q's shenanigans aren't limited to a single crew, or a single mission attempt (episode), so it's all a little random. It's not too bad though, so I am giving the card a good 3.8. (To mention Cost... Who knows what kind of energy Q spends on his tricks?)

STOCKABILITY: Sometimes I think Quarantine's main ability is to make players ask how it interacts with the Consume keyword, specifically if Consumed dilemmas also go under Quarantine. They do. I've read enough threads on Decipher's Gameplay board to know (it's the Current Rulings too). That's good news actually. It means you can use Consume dilemmas without sacrificing the number of dilemmas you can play against a crew. The Consumed cards go to Quarantine instead. In fact, any of your dilemmas that are overcome will not go against you dilemma count on the next mission attempt at whatever location. That is, so long as Quarantine doesn't Decay. If you hit the magic number (5), then your opponent (usually your victim, unless in a multi-player game, but it doesn't really matter) gets to choose a mission where the 5 dilemmas are placed as overcome. Could really jackknife you at his or her next mission. But failed mission attempts cost time, and it may be all the time you need to get ahead. A 4.

TOTAL: 14.5 (72.5%) Though there is hate, there is much love as well.

#2456-Security Drills, Event, Cost: 0, BC /FT/

-Decay: 5. (When there are five cards on this event, destroy it.) Plays in your core. While your personnel is facing a dilemma, you may place a [Fed] card from hand on this event to make that personnel gain a skill he or she already has until the end of that dilemma.

"Schedule another surprise drill. If the Dominion tries to infiltrate the station, I want to be ready for them."


PICTURE: It would've been really cool if the card's Decay number were 3, then Sisko would have been showing the same number in the pic, but as is, Security Drills shows some kind of tactical moment. A cool close-up, but not all that faithful to the card's concept (say if you add a skill like Exobiology with it). That dissonance holds it back to 2.7.

LORE: An ok quote and a lackluster title, but as with the pic, I'm not sure it represents the game text very well. But more in the next section... Here, a 2.5.

TREK SENSE: This card represents some kind of high alert status combined with special training to allow a personnel to double a skill (or if a skill is already doubled, multiply by 1.5). They've received special training, and while the high state of readiness is activated, they may use it to counter dilemmas. No state of alert lasts forever, and so this is a Decay card, though it may still produce one of the longest red alerts in Trek history (this side of 1E, of course). This is an instant effect (Cost 0), and by that I mean the alert, though the Drills themselves should have taken some time and effort. There is another kind of cost, of course. The decaying of Federation personnel and ships placed on this event may or may not mean this is a Federation thing (since other decks can still use the card, discarding Fed cards they don't need) - seeing as it's in the mission solving theme - but it's a mechanical conceit. This hurts a card whose concept is fairly good, dropping the score down to 2.3.

1E TREK SENSE: In 1E, there are a number of skills that aren't skills, further driving down the score. After all, what kind of training would double your Youth? Wouldn't Music be the last of your worries during a security alert? Costing a standard card play fixes the Cost 0 element, but it doesn't really do any better in the long run at 2.2.

STOCKABILITY: Security Drills is most obviously useful to the Federation (TNG, DS9, Maquis, and whatever else winds up in that affiliation), giving personnel the ability to pass a lot of dilemmas by doubling up on a skill. You simply place a ship or personnel from hand on this card, and bam, a personnel's Geology becomes 2 Geology, or whatever it is. In addition to the normal uses of such a skill gain, it gives great dilemma-busting power to a crew facing dilemmas that require a personnel with 2 of something. Authenticate Artifacts, Failure to Communicate, Gravimetric Distortion, etc. The event is free to play, and can be used 5 times before it and the cards on it are discarded. Pretty cost-effective if you keep a lot of weenies around for discards, and in a weenie deck, you don't have as many double skills to pass dilemmas. Perfect match. Now, other affiliations can stock Fed cards and still play this card, but of course, it's entirely a matter of having Security Drills out early and not clogging your hand up with useless Feds. So user beware. Fed decks will thrive on it though. Scores a 4.2.

1E STOCKABILITY: Costs a card play, of course, so the costs kind of pile up in 1E. Different mix of personnel and dilemmas, resulting in a small score drop (the Feds have tons of skills, fewer dilemmas that require doubled skills), but the card could still help jack up decks that use a large number of mission specialists or support personnel. Classifications can't get doubled, I don't think, which is another disadvantage compared to 2E. All of that combines to lower the score to 3.3.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) Needs more drilling.

1E TOTAL: 10.7 (53.5%) Abandon the station.


#2469-Sphere 634, Ship, Borg, Cost: 6, unique /FT/

-Sphere [4 Staff] When this ship is about to move between an [AQ] mission and a [DQ] mission, do not add 2 to the span total of those missions.

"Standard Complement: 11,000 drones. Task: Monitor transwarp network for inefficiencies. Correct."


PICTURE: Looks to be the same Sphere as on the non-unique version,, though exiting the transwarp conduit, leaving it behind, which is very fitting for its special ability. The blurriness is due to motion, so isn't as bad as the static kind, but it's a bit heavy nonetheless. Still giving it 3.5.

LORE: The complement is the same as the non-unique Borg Sphere, so there's a bit of repetition here that almost begs for a quote instead, but the Task is all new, tying in nicely, once again, with the ship's special ability. A decent 3.4.

TREK SENSE: The original Borg Sphere did well enough (a 4 in this category) and all those elements carry over here. The Cost is higher, as is usual for non-unique versions of a ship's class, but I do wonder, given the Task, if there's only ever one such Sphere? Should it be unique at all? Maybe you only need one dedicated to this function at a time. I like that the Borg having to add 2 to quadrant-hopping span totals is implied to be due to inefficiencies in the network, but since the correction doesn't help any other ships, you have to wonder how efficient it is. The better explanation is that the +2 is to accommodate a ship having to fly to the conduit itself. (How Transwarp Conduit then fits into things is a bit muddy.) So it's an interesting ability, but shouldn't it help the entire Collective? A 3.5.

STOCKABILITY: Cubes aren't all that Costly when you consider that most Borg personnel are weenies. This is what makes your regular Sphere less than excellent. Because otherwise, you've got a very strong Staff-to-Cost-to-attributes ratio going. But a unique Sphere? Could depend on its special ability. 634 basically ignores the +2 Span penalty ships must pay when moving from quadrant to quadrant. With its Range of 9, it can move to any location in the Alpha Quadrant from any position in the Delta. So it's Assault on Species 8472 to Evade Borg Vessel in one fell swoop. Keep those Transwarp Conduits for the Gamma Quadrant. Doesn't quite replace a Cube, but good enough for mission solving strategies, as its attributes ARE a march for Alpha Quadrant ships. A 3.7.

TOTAL: 14.1 (70.5%) A quick little ship.

#2482-Spreading Fear, Event, Cost: 3, BC /FT/

-Decay: 3. (When there are three cards on this event, destroy it.) Maneuver; Plays in your core.

-Order: Place a card from hand on this event to begin an engagement involving your Jem'Hadar. If you win, randomly select one opponent's personnel involved for each of your Vorta involved. Choose one of those selected personnel to be killed.


PICTURE: Context provided by some lore would have greatly helped this pic, because aside from showing the main Dominion baddies, it doesn't do much with the title. Relates to the game text, but the Founder there has nothing to do with that either (it's at least during a space battle). So it all seems very generic indeed, with one of those compositions split in two by a background element. A very blah 2.3.


LORE: Once again, the game text wins out and we get no lore. In the absence of anything clever in the title, I'm once again forced to give a card a 0 in this category.


TREK SENSE: Ok, so does this card Spread Fear with its effect, or does Spreading Fear cause the effect? It's a space battle permission slip involving Jem'Hadar - nothing special about that - but the choice of kills is dependent on the number of Vorta present (one possibility per Vorta). They're the ones giving orders, but how are they accomplishing this? I suppose they're the strategists, but don't they step on each other's toes at some point? It's pretty much a mechanical or mathematical conceit. Thematically, the Vorta add a "smart" element to the targeting of personnel, but in a ship battle, this would be much harder to accomplish. Each personnel might be scared to bet the target, but the real campaign of terror is figured in the Decay mechanic. This Maneuver does not discard upon use, but only after its third use. You're cutting through enemy lines Spreading Fear, leaving no time for respite. This is hard on your own troops, so resources are allocated and lost (the cards place on the event) as you push them. Redeems the earlier conceit. The Cost also plugs into this idea fairly well. Better than worse, it scores 3.6.

1E TREK SENSE: No Cost to worry about, and no actual need for a permission slip except against another Dominion player, but the effects stand as written. The small change makes this a 3.5.


STOCKABILITY: The Dominion has a lot of battle cards, but most are Jem-Hadar-related. So is this one, but it encourages the use of Vorta as well. In fact, all you really need is one Jem'Hadar aboard a ship, and the Vorta can do the rest. This is more of a precision attack, randomly choosing personnel to be potentially be killed, then killing the potentate of your choice. With enough Vorta involved, you could have your choice of virtually any personnel in a crew. In an Infiltrator deck, Set Up might make sure a specific personnel is chosen (in which case, you only need a single Vorta), though there are plenty of other Maneuvers that get you random kills for this strategy. What IS fun about Spreading Fear is that it Decays. At Cost 3, it doesn't seem like much of a bargain, but since it can be used 3 times (at a reasonable penalty of 1 card each time), it's very effective indeed. Enough for a 3.8.

1E STOCKABILITY: While no permission slip is needed to do battle here, those extra casualties are always nice. There's just one such casualty, but it's almost your choice! Since Jem'Hadar are a little more dependent on Vorta in 1E (in case of White Deprivation), they're more central, giving them something else to do than commanding ships and rationing White. The Decay mechanic means that it's a sort of multi-use Phaser Burns-type card, and that's good for that standard card play. Less necessary, but still good, it gets to 3.6.


TOTAL: 10.7 (53.5%) Just extend the game text box!

1E TOTAL: 10.4 (52%) Do I have to repeat myself?!

< Previous 20.....................................................................................................................Next 20 >

Contact me if you wanna talk about any of these :-)

Star Trek TM Paramount Pictures; Star Trek: Customizable Card Game TM Decipher Inc.