Siskoid's Rolodex..........Holodeck Adventures

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Holodeck Adventures expansion set.

#1145-'45 Dom Perignon, Equipment, Holographic, HDA
"Champagne of a respected 20th-century vintage. Traditionally used to christen new ships. In the holographic world of Secret Agent Julian Bashir, also serves as an effective hand weapon."
-May discard to download a unique ship to replace (discard) your [universal] ship of same class here. Once per battle, your personnel present may stun an adversary they just engaged.

PICTURE: One the great pics in Holodeck Adventures is for its very first card (alphabetically). The pose is dynamic, and the entire composition especially so thanks to the explosion of flowers behind Bashir. It's easy to see how the bottle can be used as equipment, and quite frankly, it was a great moment in the episode. Even the distorted perspective (with Bashir's giant hand) is interesting to look at. A 4.8.

LORE: Both functions are given lip service, and the champagne IS stated to be a hand weapon here (making it more useful). I'll give it a 3.5.

TREK SENSE: Two functions, one of which is for real champagne (the holo icon is WRONG) and one for holographic champagne (holo icon not a problem). So in the first instance, champagne can be used to christen a universal ship, making it unique, with its own unique name. We saw this happen in Generations, proving the naval tradition carried over to spacecraft, but of course, there was nothing holographic about that bubbly. The Dom Perignon is of course discarded with the christening since the bottle has to be broken. If doing the ceremony from inside a holodeck, couldn't you reboot (not discard) the bottle? The second function IS holographic, because I don't believe real champagne can be wielded as a weapon quite so effectively in the real world. Besides, once you pop the cork on a real bottle, there's no putting it back in for a second volley. In a battle in which your personnel are packing champagne, they may cork (stun) their adversaries, just like Bashir did to Falcon. Simple and to the point. So while the holo/not holo issue does hurt, the concepts are sound enough. A 3.9 here.

STOCKABILITY: The built-in disadvantage of this Equipment card is its holo icon of course, which keeps you from taking it everywhere you go. Your holodecks are fine, and a planet covered by Holo-Projectors is too, but intruders aboard opposing ships/facilities won't be bringing theirs along. The first function is definitely interesting in any case, since it allows you to turn a universal ship you just Spacedoored into a unique ship of the same class with better stats, a matching commander and perhaps a couple other perks. No Defiant or Sovereign classes, unfortunately, but there are plenty of possibilities for most affiliations. Secret Agent Julian Bashir can download the Dom Perignon, is NA, and can enter play early thanks to Dr. Noah's Mountain Retreat. That universal ship won't stay "small" for long. As a hand weapon, it can insure victory by weeding out the big personnel, stunning them and taking them out of the equation, while protecting your own weaker guys. Even an Admiral McCoy can pop someone's cork. Due to its holographic nature, a little more defensive that offensive, but there are enough ways to get around it, and it certainly levels the terrain. With Disengage Safety Protocols in play, it mortally wounds instead of stuns. Ouch! And it IS a hand weapon, seedable at Search for Weapons and discardable for points at Kressari Rendezvous. It's also great for a number of dilemmas. The variety of functions makes it a 4.

TOTAL: 16.2 (81%) A good year indeed!

#1156-Ablative Armor, Equipment, AU, HDA
"Early 25th-century technology brought from an alternate future to the year 2377 by Admiral Janeway. Quickly adapted for use on Voyager, enabling it to withstand the attack of a Borg cube."
-While aboard your ship or facility, opponent's ATTACK total must be more than double that ship or facility's DEFENSE total to score a hit, and more than triple to score a direct hit.

PICTURE: A very cool effects shot from the Voyager finale, we actually see it forming on the ship's hull in a distinctive blue pattern. There's otherwise not much movement to the composition. A 3.8.

LORE: Though Ablative Armor was used on the USS Defiant, they decided to use the more powerful future version. Hey, at least it's visible. The AU aspect gets a line and half, then greater explanation of the picture. Nothing spectacular, but no mistakes. 3.2 should do it.

TREK SENSE: Ablative Armor exists in the present, but this is meant to be the future version (AU). Still, where's the present version? Is it an inbuilt boost to Shields? If so, why the major discrepency of helping Defense rather than Shields here? In any case, this should have been an event played on a ship. Is the technology so small that it can be carried around like a tricorder to be installed rapidly into any ship? I find it hard to believe that it's so "plug-and-play". Any technology that would require installation shouldn't be transferable equipment. For example, was Janeway's shuttle's Armor uninstalled when they put it on Voyager? No. We have no evidence that facilities can use this, but it's not impossible. The way it uses Attack and Defense totals doesn't quite work though. As a boost to Shields, it would protect you from some dilemmas, for example, but Armor apparently doesn't help with anything but battle with your opponent (absurdly, it won't help you against the Borg Ship dilemma!). A boost to armor would also help its Defense total, in any case. Then again, Armor is not Shields as we know them, and it does take into account that ships attack with an Attack total which includes tactics etc., not just pure Weapons (and vice-versa). Maybe it's an evil for a good. The proportions make as much sense as anything, and the only thing we have to compare it to is Voyager vs. a Borg Cube. Voyager has less than twice the base Defense of a Cube's base Attack, but there are so many other factors - tactics used, matching commander bonuses, etc. - that Voyager's Defense may well have exceeded 12, and so be protected from a hit. So a mixed bag, with the card type taking the brunt of the criticism. Keeps the card at 3.1.

STOCKABILITY: Though it requires a way for AU cards to report, and is vulnerable to Disruptor Overload, Common Thief, et al., the DEFENSE boost is a massive help, especially against the bigger ships out there. Consider that it would take an ATTACK total of 10 to even score a hit on a Type 9 Shuttle using no other cards, and of 15 to score a direct hit. Now think about the ships that have naturally high SHIELDS, then add Tactics that add to DEFENSE, a matching commander, etc. It's really going to require an armada or hugely enhanced ship to do any damage. In essence, it allows you to lose a battle without incurring any damage. If your opponent is using Tactics, that's not just damage you're avoiding, but casualties and other nastiness as well. At the price of (common) equipment, you can afford to equip each of your ships (and facilities! let's see someone come up with the ATTACK 68 to damage Deep Space 9. It can be done, but at what cost? Great defense at 4.3.

TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Sure, I thought the whole batmobile riff was silly in the extreme, but it makes a good card.

#1166-Admiral J. P. Hanson, Personnel, Federation, HDA
"Head of Borg research and strategic planning at Starfleet Tactical. Friend of Jean-Luc Picard for over 40 years. Amassed an armada to face a Borg cube at Wolf 359."
-VIP, Leadership x2, Honor, SECURITY; Your [Fed] ships may report here (unless AU); Command icon

PICTURE: Given the seriousness of the Borg threat, Hanson comes off pretty appropriately here, though in the classic pencil-pusher pose of many admirals. No problems, though of course, there's nothing that particularly stands out either. A 3.3.

LORE: Touches on most of the points that will be adressed in the game text, and all that could be missing would be his admiration for Shelby. What's there is quite well done however. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Head of research doesn't quite net you Officer status it seems, though the stuff about armadas might have warranted it. Hanson is more a resource coordinator than a fleet leader however, so the VIP seems to stick. With the apparent power to reassign personnel, give out battle commissions and redirect loads of ships, the Leadership may well be doubled. In the Federation, Honor is the important mark of a leader, and I'm not surprised he would have the skill. After all, any friend of Picard's for so long a time would have to have lots of Integrity. Jean-Luc just wouldn't cherish a friendship as much without it. While he left the Exobiology-type stuff to kids like Shelby, his particular bent was tactical as evidenced by his Security (strategic planning, natch). The special skill is pretty cool, allowing him to amass an armada wherever he is. Remember that ships, like personnel, already exist somewhere "offstage" (personnel are reported, not born, and it takes months-to-years to build a ship). When they report to a facility, they do simply report to it and become active in the story (the game). Hanson deals in emergencies, so he has ships report to any location as needed. AU ships are exempt because they wouldn't be under the current Starfleet's control (same for NA vessels). Great stuff. I've mentioned I agree with the Integrity, well, it's the same for the other attributes. All in all, extremely well done. 4.7 even.

STOCKABILITY: Another admiral that reports for free to the Office of the President, Hanson has your usual Federation skills of Leadership and Honor, plus SECURITY to help out the less useful VIP. The Leadership is at x2 which is great for a variety of missions and dilemmas, but if you'll notice, Hanson has ALL the skills required of Secure Homeworld (where he'll report for free, no less). Oh, and what 100 Tribbles? Aside from that, he allows Federation ships (if you'll kindly leave the future and past ships at home, including the OS stuff) to report to his location. This is a great way to bring Voyager (or Equinox) to the Alpha Quadrant, or Mirror ships for that matter. Conversely, you could send Hanson to the Delta Quadrant with a Temporal Micro-Wormhole, and have him report an entire fleet of Federation vessels to the other end of the galaxy. In normal use, he'll easily keep your traveling fleet stocked with ships without your losing time reporting somewhere else and joining it later. If you're using some kind of battle enabling, that's a powerful function, and if just on the defensive, not a bad deterrant. A somewhat specialized 3.9.

TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) Pretty impressive for a desk hugger.

#1176-Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel, Personnel, Non-Aligned, HDA
"Miradorn twins, bonded as if two halves of one being. Attacked and plundered transports for valuable objets d'art. Negotiated with Quark to sell one such item."
-Ah-Kel: OFFICER, Archaeology, Smuggling, Treachery; Command icon
-Ro-Kel: OFFICER, Acquisition, Biology, Greed; Command icon

PICTURE: Walking into Quark's like big bullies, the twins didn't get many shots together before Ro-Kel was killed by Croden, so we don't have much choice. While the shot is appropriate, it shows off some ugly costumes that gives them both beer bellies and diapers. The background is a bit gaudy. A tighter frame would have benefited everyone involved. A 2.9.

LORE: A good explanation of the Miradorn species and how they deserve to be dual-personnel cards, the Vendetta relationship is avoided because it would have meant admitting that one of them had died. Otherwise, everything that the brothers could do together is mentioned. A likeable 3.5.

TREK SENSE: There couldn't be a more natural dual-personnel card than a pair of bonded twins (much like the Bynars). Indeed, it is said that when one brother dies, the other isn't far behind. Now, they both command a Miradorn Raider (the same one), so making them Officers makes some measure of sense, as does giving them Command icons. Their line of work might warrant something more Civilian in nature, but I'd rather see even civilian ship commanders as Officers (this is the case for the botched Kasidy Yates) than as just more Non-Aligned Civilians. The split of skills between them is basically academic, but Ah-Kel, the revenger, does get murderous Treachery. In any case, all 6 skills apply to both personnel in some degree. The Archaeology allows them to evaluate objets d'art. Smuggling is for transporting these stolen goods. Treachery is there because of the plunder and illegal trading. Acquisition gets them the best price possible for their ill-gotten wares. Greed is the appropriate motivation. Biology... umm... I'm not sure what that's for. No, I really don't (a biological awareness of each other's twin might be a low form of Empathy...). As for attributes, being like-minded twins gives them the very same stats: criminal Integrity, cunning Cunning and great, barrel-chested Strength. Passes on almost every front, but a way to split them up to recreate the episode "Vortex" might have been nice. A 4 as is.

STOCKABILITY: I don't need to sell you on the idea of dual-personnel cards. Not only do they generally have a full load of skills (and 2 classifications!), but they are also loaded on attributes and cost only one card play to report despite their being 2 personnel. Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel can't be split up later, but they still offer a nice package. 2 OFFICERs in one, each quite able to pass Maglock with their high STRENGTH. Together, they pair up against an opponent at STRENGTH 18 (plus hand weapon bonuses), often more than enough to strike a mortal blow. The Acquisition and Greed offer a host of Rules-related possibilities (as well as making great supporting personnel for the Ferengi). Smuggling goes in a similar direction and is fairly rare. Treachery will fit into many decks, as will Archaeology. And Biology is just a good dilemma-buster. so a bit of everything, including matching commander status for the universal (Spacedoorable) Miradorn Raider, possibly raising its stats to 10-10-10 with Plaque & Log, as well as allowing Ready Room Door to download this better than average personnel card. They are rated at 3.8.

TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) 7.1 each ;-).

#1186-Alice, Dilemma, space/planet, HDA
"Alien shuttle with an interface that restructures its pilot's neural pathways. Manifested in Tom Paris' mind as an Academy crush, forcing him to take the ship to her particle fountain 'home'."
-Unless 2 Computer Skill and Biology present, personnel with most Navigation (opponent's choice if tie or none) is captured. Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: We see both the ship (from the inside) and the girl (very attractive, thanks) and the effect it has on its host (makes you grow a 5 o'clock shadow). There's a unity of color (almost all cold) and a good, cramped edge to it. A 3.5.

LORE: The story's told well enough, and all the elements are there. That's good considering that the premise of an entire episode is described. A fair 3.4 here.

TREK SENSE: It would have been wicked if they could have given the dilemma a shuttle-type existence (like RANGE) so they it could make off with the captive, but alas, we must accept that Alice disappears when she gets home, but somehow the captive is deposited where its enemies may come and claim him. That's a major hurdle. The requirements are ok, with both Computer Skill and Biology represented to get the victim out of the computer/brain interface, and that victim is well chosen, being the best pilot in the bunch (even according to you if there's a tie). That's what Alice got off on. That it's a space shuttle and can still be encountered on a planet isn't so surprising given that such craft can land, but the lack of focus on other shuttlecraft abilities does hurt. So between that, and the fact the captive isn't brought "home" at all, we're looking at a missed opportunity, or a 2.3, whichever.

SEEDABILITY: A common dilemma with 3 skills in its requirements is pretty good, and seeing as Computer Skill x2 personnel are fairly rare, you'll usually need at least 2 personnel, if not 3, to pass it. Navigation is a pretty common skill, but even if there are no Navigation personnel present, they'd all count as having the same amount of Navigation. That may be your cue to kill/filter off as many Navigation personnel as you can before Alice is hit, giving you the opportunity to capture anyone you want. A lone Navigation mission specialist would make a pretty lame captive, you know? Of course, that still depends on their not having enough Computer Skill and Biology, themselves rather common skills (hey, it's a common card). I don't think it really dethrones a card like Cardassian Trap, though I recognize opponent's choice as better than random selection. It just won't hit as effectively. Still a 3.3.

TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) And there goes an entire episode.

#1196-All Threes, Interrupt, HDA
"While trapped in a temporal causality loop, Data's dealing at the regular poker game was influenced by a posthypnotic suggestion sent from an earlier repetition of events."
-Plays once each turn to reveal two sets of three cards from top of your draw deck. Take one set into hand; discard the other (opponent's choice unless you have any Data in play).

PICTURE: One of 2 poker-related cards in Holodeck Adventures, I'm not sure if I like the theme that much, especially if they're going to be shots of blurry hands, regular playing cards and a casino-green table. In this case, the title could have referred us to the console in the same episode that started spitting out 3s by the dozen. The similar clue (pointing to the number of pips on Riker's collar) produced by Data's shuffling requires a little more work, especially at this uneven resolution. Each hand on the table starts with a 3, then shows a 3 of a kind. Would have been the perfect place to CGI out one of the poker chips, just to unify the image (ALL Threes, please). A kind of blah 1.9.

LORE: Doesn't really explain the game text or even the story very well. Unless you've seen the episode, the statements don't really seem to co-relate that well, and in Data's case, the words "posthypnotic suggestion" should really be in quotation marks. An unexceptional 2.5.

TREK SENSE: Rather conceptual, it actually plays with the idea in a couple of ways. One of these ways is that it allows you to draw sets of 3 cards (All Threes, see?). The other is that you get two such sets, and choose one to actually draw, representing, in a sense, the time loop. The set you don't draw is an earlier sequence of events that happened, but was "discarded" when time was reset. As an interrupt, it takes the idea of a time loop rather cavalierly, and at 3 cards, though conceptually in-theme, makes time somehow run a bit faster than normal. Further, putting which "timeline" will be kept in the hands of your opponent (rather than destiny) has no justification. It's not like the causality loop described was caused by a sentient enemy. If Data is in play, he can be used to control the next loop's activities as per "Cause and Effect", and so the timeline option becomes your choice. One feature I didn't mention yet is that both timelines are "revealed" (shown to both players), representing the foresight afforded by repeating events. Pretty well designed all in all, but like I said, it doesn't take time loops very seriously as far as their consequences go. I still admire it enough for a 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: An easily played drawing engine that gets you 3 cards, just like Kivas Fajo-Collector, but at interrupt speed. The hic? Your opponent gets to see 6 of your cards, and gets to choose which set of 3 will be discarded. In other words, you'll want to use a recycling engine as well, and Data, Keep Dealing looks designed to get those cards back on top of your deck if they were really important (though still at the cost of 3 cards). Some kind of Data is really a must for using this card. Any of them, and a few are Non-Aligned (Sherlock Holmes and Carlos, for example), will give YOU the choice of 3 cards. The interrupt may still lead to difficult decisions as there might be a card you really need in both sets of 3. A fast draw deal, but may turn out to be trouble without the right support. Still a huge drawing advantage at 3.9.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) I couldn't justify giving it all 3s.

#1206-Anastasia Komananov, Personnel, Non-Aligned, holographic, HDA
"KGB agent. Kira Nerys, with a Russian accent. Brought orders to pursue Dr. Noah. Romantically involved with Secret Agent Julian Bashir. Wears exploding earrings."
-OFFICER, Honor, Diplomacy; SD Smoke Bomb; May Issue Secret Orders as if she were an infiltrator

PICTURE: Growl. While a sexily-dressed Kira is never unappreciated, the card is actually good for other reasons. The very Bond-like seduction pose is one of these (and some have gone as far to call it a slight parody of The Intendent's pic), the other is the gold tentacles behind her. I love how they at once look like her hairdo (in color and style) and give the impression of a dangerous snare she might draw men into. The flashy turquoise is a great counterpoint colorwise as well. A strong composition worth its 4.2.

LORE: Decipher's very good at this deadpan humor, and I find the phrase "Kira Nerys, with a Russian accent" to be hilarious. The bit about the exploding earrings is pretty funny too, and was a must. The mention of SAJB and Dr. Noah is, of course, necessary to card mechanics, and despite all the fun stuff, the lore's still in the service of the game text. A very good 4.1.

TREK SENSE: To me, secret agents are really more Security than Officers, but both Komananov and Bashir were high-ranking military officers as well. In Anastasia's case, she's a Colonel (a bit before Kira herself). I have no big problem with these holographic versions of main personae, since they can only exist in the Holosuite, but use the real person's body. My only question is about deactivation: If a real body is killed, would the hologram really be "deactivated"? Maybe. The unaffected DS9 crew weren't sure what would happen. In any case, being unaware of the real world, she would not be affiliated with the Bajorans or any other affiliation, and wouldn't be able to command 24th-century ships (so no staffing icon). Though a KGB agent, she was a good guy deserving of Honor, and being sent by her government to forge an alliance with an enemy power might well warrant Diplomacy. Still missing is Security which should be part and parcel of an agent's training. Her earrings are represented as a download of Smoke Bomb, which is pretty much what they were. A clever cross-reference if you ask me. Because she brought an enemy some secret orders which he then obeyed, the Issue Secret Orders cross-reference is likewise clever, but more conceptual than anything. I mean, yes, she did exactly this, but the idea that anyone would follow orders coming from her in the so-called real world is ridiculous. What's more, the motivation behind these Orders is not the same - the card calls for trickery rather than a genuine alliance. The attributes are good enough, though Strength might have been higher. Still, there was no onscreen proof that she was an any better fighter. It's just my take on the KGB again. Let's see... where does that leave us... How about 3.4? Clever, but not always sure-footed.

STOCKABILITY: Not the most useful of Noah's Mountain Retreat holograms, she can still report to the Incident, download there, or discard to download another Kira. Her skills are fairly common, though not useless, but they're not really what you'd use Anastasia for. Her special download, for example, is pretty interesting. She can suspend play to play it, so you could technically stop your own mission attempt with it, say if you were in over your head, or stop your opponent's if she was present. Similarly, she can Smoke Bomb a personnel battle to nullify it. The Issue Secret Orders deal may be a little harder to pull off, since you have to get her aboard an opposing ship and keep her there for a turn. Well, getting her aboard isn't that difficult, say with a Mobile Emitter and Open Diplomatic Negotiations, or better yet, by playing Mountain Retreat on the opposing ship, but keeping her from being attacked (she's not a real infiltrator after all), that's where you might need that Smoke Bomb. Send the ship astray, empty it of all personnel, then send your people aboard to commandeer it, and perhaps a Transporter Skill personnel to turn Anastasia into a flesh and blood Kira (Bajoran, Federation or Cardassian). It's a good design, but you'd have to ignore the special skill to put it in the service of any other strategy. As such, it only really gets to 3.5.

TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) A lot of HDA holos offer cool designs, but rather conceptual effects.

#1216-Ar-Q-ologist, Q-Dilemma, HDA
"How can you write about something that you've never seen? I know! Why don't I take you there?"
-Unless Archaeology and Honor present, opponent may "dig up" up to Q cards from their discard pile and place them in any order on top of draw deck, where Q=total number of [skill dot] and [SD] icons on lowest INTEGRITY personnel present. Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: Somehow, I was happier with Anastasia Komananov mirroring The Intendent... The card suffers from TNG's usual pastel palette, plus from being slightly out-of-focus, and perhaps the expression on Q is a bit serious for his pose. But overall, it's a keeper with a good composition and a funny, quirky subject. I give it 3.5.

LORE: I must say that the title is the biggest groaner of all the Q-puns used on any Q-card to date. As Mr. Burns would say: "Excellent". The Q-uote is pulled from the moment of the picture, as is standard, but unfortunately, it doesn't inform the game text whatsover. Taken out of context from its source episode, you can't even see the relationship to Archaeology. Thank the Continuum for the title! Gets it up to 2.4.

TREK SENSE: Entirely conceptual, I'm afraid. Trek Sense would dictate its effect be to relocate an Archaeology personnel with no Honor (like Vash) to another quadrant, or even time location. That's not what we got. First, though the two skills are mentioned, Archaeology isn't a trigger or target, it's a requirement (nullifier). How these requirements prevent the card's effects is unknown in any case. What is that effect? Conceptually, Q acts as archaeologist and "digs up" (very cute) cards from the past (or discard pile) and puts what he finds in the immediate future (top of draw deck). Perhaps in actuality, he takes an instantaneous trip to the past and places past stuff in the immediate future, not beyond his abilities to be sure, but the fact that it all happens on your opponent's side of the table makes the effects nil for your own personnel/cards. Why would you then be the one to encounter the card. And while I always like to see the Q variable on Q-cards, its value being based on skill dots (and the equivalent special download icon) has very little to do with anything. At least it's on a low-Integrity personnel, which relates it all back to Vash. And how is this even a "dilemma"? An unfortunately low 0.7.

STOCKABILITY: As a strict Q-card, Ar-Q-ologist is a potential bonus to you during a Q-Flash. If Honor and Archaeology are not present, then you get to pull a number of cards (usually between 1 and 6, sometimes a bit more) from your discard pile and place them on top of your draw deck, where you can draw them on your next turn, use them as successful probes, or cycle them into the deck by downloading something. This isn't the best way to use the card however, since you can't really control a Q-Flash. It might come up, or it might not. Of course, this is a Q-Dilemma, so with Beware of Q, can be seeded without the Q-Flash. This way, you can better control how and when it will be encountered, and even try to weed out Honor and/or Archaeology so you get your card rescues. It's kind of an odd deck manipulation engine since it hinges on its being encountered by your opponent. That's not a good thing, but the card can potentially recycle more cards than other cards of its type. I'll give it a 3.4.

TOTAL: 10 (50%) More interesting than old-style common Q-cards, but the design doesn't really hold up very well.

#1226-Arachnia, Personnel, Non-Aligned, Delta Quadrant, HDA
"Impetuous Queen of the Spider People, as portrayed by Kathryn Janeway. Forced Chaotica to lower his lightning shield after uncorking her pheromones on his henchman."
-VIP; Opposing ships here are SHIELDS -4 unless a female is aboard;  Diplomacy, Treachery, Honor; Command icon

PICTURE: These Captain Proton pics had to be in black and white, but I'm really glad Decipher went the extra distance and printed the cards entirely without color. An excellent choice. For Arachnia in particular, she has the look of a silent film star and a great camera-mugging expression (shades of Sunset Boulevard). The background's a little busy thanks to a couple of guards, but that doesn't take away much from the card which is worth a high 4.4 here.

LORE: Lots to like, it uses plenty of space opera buzzwords, like "Spider People", "lightning shield" and "henchman", and makes her a Queen which has some use in the game (as does the mention of Chaotica). The use of descriptives like "impetuous" doesn't hurt either. A good 3.7.

TREK SENSE: Holodeck versions of main personae aren't very sound when it comes to Trek Sense unfortunately, even if the designs are often fun. The basic flaw is that these personnel would almost never attempt a mission as a holonovel character. The version of the persona is strictly for entertainment purposes, or else to resolve (as is the case here) problems within a holodeck simulation. These hardly ever come up in the game, and then only as dilemmas. It makes no sense that Janeway would be considered a Queen (for purposes of Executive Authorization) or even VIP outside this particular program. Nor would her special skill carry over like it does here. The same might go for any skill or attribute defined here. But let's look at these as part of the Arachnia character: Unlike Janeway, Arachnia WOULD be a VIP and Queen, and thus a Command icon personnel. She used both Diplomacy and Treachery against Chaotica, but at the root, remains a good guy (Honor) despite playing the villainess. That last skill is a bit iffy though, as if Janeway was peeking through the character. Arachnia's disabling of Chaotica's lightning shield is translated as a Shields drop for opposing ships at this location. This is entirely conceptual, but cute. Note that because she uses her womanly pheromones to get the Shields dropped (but not all the way, as the concept would dictate), there needs be no immune females aboard. If "Arachnia" could actually do this, then the Shields would take a more massive drop, and she would have to be aboard the opposing ship herself. As written, your own intruding female could prevent the special skill from taking hold, even if it were Arachnia herself. Her middling Integrity kinda matches her Treachery/Honor combo. Her Cunning is somehow higher than Janeway's, as if she could role-play someone smarter than she is (exceedingly difficult, take it from an old role-player). And since fighting wouldn't be very lady-like (important to this program's genre), she's down a point from Janeway's basic Strength (could just be the unwieldly dress too). Finally, while I do question the loss of a [Fed] icon for Federation personnel on a Federation holodeck, Arachnia herself would be Non-Aligned in her own "universe", but the Delta Quadrant icon is left over from the baseline Janeway. No real beef with this since the Captain Proton program was developped and used in the DQ. I like what they've done with her, but the "holo-persona" aspect has been largely ignored by the rules. Indeed, you don't even need a holodeck for Janeway to traipse onto the bridge as the Spider Queen. A generous 2.

STOCKABILITY: Though the Feds can switch back and forth between Janeway and Arachnia, other affiliations can also use this card alone. Not only would she make a fair female for the DQ affiliations which are somewhat low on them (a non-holographic fem for the Hirogen), but she can take advantage of that DQ weakness by lowering the SHIELDS on ships with no females aboard. -4 is a sizeable drop in power, and a useful advantage against DQ ships which all seem to be dangerous powerhouses. Of course, there'll always be Non-Aligned females (like herself) to worry about... Her host of skills features both Honor and Treachery, so that you could use her in a "light side" or "dark side" deck ;-), and the Diplomacy is never wasted. The only interesting attribute is the sky-high CUNNING, but it should be noted. Making her a Queen, means she can pass Executive Authorization, which may be a more attractive option than a PADD for the DQ affiliations who have no Legates or Intendents. She can be downloaded effortlessly to a Holodeck in whatever quadrant you need her in, using the useful Fortress of Doom, which may well be a way to get the real Janeway to the AQ ('45 Dom Perignon can turn an Intrepid into her USS Voyager). Enough for a well-rounded 3.8.

TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Hard to overcome Trek Sense difficulties.

#1236-B'Elanna Daughter of Miral, Personnel, Klingon, Delta Quadrant
"The half-human B'Elanna Torres embraced her Klingon heritage in dealing with the Voq'leng crew. With Kohlar's help, she convinced them her child was the Kuvah'Magh."
-ENGINEER, ENGINEER, Leadership, Diplomacy, Honor, Computer Skill x2; Staff icon

PICTURE: While I thought this would be the Klingon half of B'Elanna from "Faces", or at the very least something from "Barge of the Dead", I'm glad they picked something from "Prophecy" if only for the costume. Its rich jade colors are more original than the black armor we're used to, and go back to the Klingons' oriental roots. The muted red lighting is also cool, though I think that guy in the back is a candidate for CGI removal. A good 3.8.

LORE: The title has become the standard way of Klingonizing non-Klingon personnel, but is fun nonetheless. As for the lore itself, it specifically pulls B'Elanna from a single episode, but its story is well told, if it doesn't quite qualify her involvement. I'll go for 3.4 here.

TREK SENSE: B'Elanna was always partway Klingon, but only in a few episodes did she ever embrace her Klingon half. "Prophecy" is one such episode, though very few things actually jump out as coming from that episode (a download of her daughter could have been a good idea, for example). She's still a double-Engineer, fair enough, and her trademark Computer Skill x2 is still present. Leadership may come from her being a respected figure to the Voq'leng crew, though why not make her VIP if that's the case? I'd rather think that the Leadership stems from this being from one of the later episodes, by which time she's quite at ease as chief engineer. The Honor is from her embracing Klingon ideals, that's plain enough. And the Diplomacy is clearly for dealing with the Delta Quadrant Klingons (a B'elanna with Diplomacy???). In this aspect, Maquis membership is irrelevant, especially since the Maquis have been wiped out by this time. Why she would have one point less in Strength can possibly be explained by her pregnancy. Integrity's a little higher to go with her new-found Diplomatic attitude, no doubt due to Tom Paris' influence (maybe the Strength is too, because she isn't as aggressive). Not perfect, but still good at 3.7.

STOCKABILITY: The Klingons certainly won't say no to a double-ENGINEER, will they? And with her doubled Computer Skill, she can be downloaded to your hand early using Quark's Isolinear Rods. Less fortunate is the DipHoLe stuff which is ultra-common on Klingon personnel. Of course, while there are ways to report her to the Alpha Quadrant, she actually makes the Klingons viable in the Delta Quadrant thanks to a large load of skills. The Staff icon may allow her to report for free to the Voq'leng with Home Away From Home, and her skills are certainly adapted to the many ENGINEER/Computer Skill missions of the DQ. The Klingons can easily use the other versions of the persona since they are Non-Aligned, and indeed, the Maquis B'Elanna can report to the AQ and be substituted with this version if not using the DQ. The Fed/NA B'Elanna has a few different skills they could use, and her exact card title actually solves a few missions. And if you think the Klingon personnel base for the DQ isn't very big, well, it's not that much smaller than some DQ affiliations, and can always be supplemented with AQ Klingons. Or else Spatially Scission such personnel as B'Elanna Daughter of Miral and have multiples of good personnel. Excellent skills and very good attributes make her a 3.9 for Klingons.

TOTAL: 14.8 (74%) Now let's see the Kuvah'Magh!

#1246-Bajoran Resistance Cell, Objective, HDA
-Seeds or plays on table. Once each turn, your Resistance personnel may report for free to your [Baj] facility or ship or to any planet. Also, your Bajoran espionage cards may not be nullified. Once each turn, you may download a Bajoran espionage card to one to your missions (limit one per mission), then draw two cards if you have at least two Resistance personnel in play.

PICTURE: A somewhat busy shot of Bajorans on Planet Hell, laughing it up. Huh? Is this a cast picture à la Outpost Raid or what? Whether it is or not, the yucks seem quite inappropriate to the subject matter. Maybe the characters are reacting to the game text's power? You know, it's a good thing the Phaser Rifles are in prominence, because with those costumes, this could just as well be a scene from Xena Warrior Princess. A disappointing 1.6.

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

TREK SENSE: Plans of the Bajoran Resistance, in other words. First off, you must understand that the Resistance has been dissolved in the wake of the Cardassians leaving Bajor. That said, former Resistance members are now working on facilities, ships and planets all over the place. But since the Resistance is their bond, you may "activate" a Resistance member (i.e. report it for free) to these locations, where it gets noticed by the game. One anomaly is that "any planet" includes the ones in other quadrants, or even in the Alpha, where no Bajorans would logically be present. With your Resistance "called to attention" (think of the various times Kira called on her Resistance contacts for help or information), Bajoran Espionage cards cannot be nullified. In other words, this confirms that Resistance is an intelligence skill on par with Tal Shiar or Obsidian Order. Well, I'm not so sure about that. Technically, it should be more like the Maquis icon, representing an affiliation to a terrorist organization. However, I do recognize that that affiliation may call upon its members' eyes and ears to report anything fishy, or to actively go on Espionage missions. This is further represented by the download of such Espionage cards to one of your missions (the ones actually targeted by your Bajoran Resistance since you played them). The Resistance is a lot like a family, so everyone helps in their own way. This shows up as card draws if enough Resistance personnel are in play, since even the little ol' lady of the village has a couple Rifles hidden in the barn. Though the relationship to Espionage cards is a bit dubious, they thankfully went out of their way to not make this another Plans card, but instead something uniquely Bajoran. A cool enough 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: Well, the Bajorans only have one Espionage card to their name, so an Espionage card cycler à la Plans would be less than useful. Sure, that's still there, and if your opponent is playing Caradssian, he won't be able to nullify your card. If you yourself have played missions with Cardassian attemptability icons, in particular in the Bajor region, you'll be happy to note you can download the card when you actually need to solve the mission, not when your hand decides you can. If you have a couple of Resistance personnel in play, you get a couple card draws with that download too. That's a great bonus which may encourage you to use Cardassian missions. And to get the Resistance personnel in play? It's real easy. Resistance Cell allows you to report them for free to that same planet (if you want to use them to solve), to a ship at that location or to your Bajoran facility there or anywhere else. You don't even need the appropriate Site to report it to Deep Space 9! To quicken things up, you can even download more Resistance personnel (namely the universal Gantt) with Bajoran Civil War. The extra free reports (especially in addition to your HQ's) may be enough to use the card, building your deck around the Resistance. These personnel come from varied walks of life, and have plenty of skills to offer. At only 1 Resistance personnel apiece, the Dominion and Cardassians may not want to use this unless they were free-report junkies, but the Feds have 2 and could lay down a decoy spaceline to get some card draws and not even attempt the mission with the Espionage (like Cardie/Fed missions). A good play aid for the Bajorans at any rate, including for smackdown strategies. A 4.

TOTAL: 12.53 (62.65%) Likeable even if the pic really isn't.

#1256-Barash, Personnel, Non-Aligned, HDA
"Humanoid child orphaned by his homeworld's invasion. Secreted on Alpha Onias III in a cavern equipped with advanced holotechnology. Bonded with William T. Riker."
-CIVILIAN; Your [Barash] personnel may report here (for free, once each turn); Doubles Hologram Ruse; Youth

PICTURE: The picture ultimately fails by the weakness of the make-up which really shows why Roddenberry's edict to always see the actor's eyes was important. Still a very distinctive personnel card, though with an unremarkable colors palette and background. 3.3 high enough?

LORE: The first of what is hopefully a pair of versions of this persona is well written, with enough details thrown in to keep lore-lovers satisfied. Nothing really stands out, but no mistakes or blatant omissions either. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Barash is definitely a Non-Aligned Civilian child (Youth). It's the special skills that will make him or break him. The first of these only makes sense if his personal holo-grid moves around with him. If it does, then, yes, the [Barash] icon characters could report to that location since they ARE in actuality holograms of a special sort (manufactured by that grid). But it doesn't actually move, does it? His second skill ties in with that grid again, as represented by Hologram Ruse. If he's present to direct the "illusions", then the dilemma is harder to overcome. I'll buy that one, except that Barash doesn't actually need to be present. Another flawed skill then. Can the attributes save him? The middling Integrity can be attributed to the fact that he tried to selfishly trick Riker into staying with him, but his heart was in the right place. The semi-high Cunning allows him to create these "realities" out of whole cloth. And the Strength? I think a bit high for a child with hands not made to hold a phaser too well. With the similarly-named icon being dead wrong (the personnel should have been holograms - thank you Holodeck Door - with no AU icons), all things Barash seem to be doomed to lower Trek Sense scores. A 1.9.

STOCKABILITY: With lukewarm attributes and a low-prority classification/skill combo, Barash can again only really be judged by virtue of his special skills. Reporting personnel for free is always a noble endeavor, and Barash allows a few personnel to do this. You'll have to play Federation to enjoy this to its fullest, and the possible personnel are Admiral Picard, Commander Troi, Commander Data, Ambassador Tomalak (for Romulans, or a Fed/Rom Treaty) and Prot. Bah. Each has four skills (plus the Treaty download for Tomalak), but they also require an open AU Door or STP to even report. The skills offered aren't bad, but the Federation has incredible skill horses, and Fed players can afford to be choosy. Furthermore, these can all download much more quickly through Holodeck Door, and one of them can even already report for free to the Office of the President. The other ability boosts a pretty weak planet dilemma, allowing Hologram Ruse to come into its own as a wall that requires lots of personnel (INTEGRITY and CUNNING must both surpass 60). That's great, but you really need to have Barash out and in play when your opponent encounters the card or else... pfft. The card attempts to boost a few lamer cards, but doesn't make ITSELF useful for its own sake. Only 2.7.

TOTAL: 11.3 (56.5%) Thematically sound, but that doesn't seem to be enough.

#1266-Baxial, Ship, Non-Aligned, Delta Quadrant, HDA
"Small ship owned and commanded by Neelix. Ugliest thing he ever saw, though its appearance grew on him."
Talaxian Freighter[] Tractor Beam; May report for free to Neelix's location; Has no transporters

PICTURE: The card acknowledges that the ship is ugly, so its pic can't really be judged on that, can it? Be that as it may, I'm panning it on the noticeable blur. Plus, yeah, it looks terrible. A generous 2.5.

LORE: There's a lot of charm to this little ship (and its shortened lore). Neelix's opinion of it is definitely his style. As far as game considerations go, the Baxial is given a matching commander and is made a freighter, which is worth something. A superior 4.

TREK SENSE: In Neelix's corner of the Delta Quadrant, transporter technology is largely unknown, so like Kazon ships, his vessel has none. It does have a Tractor Beam which would allow it to carry shuttles inside, and I don't think that's right. If anything, the Baxial should be able to fit inside Voyager and larger ships! It's only about as large as the Delta Flyer after all, so a Freighter/Shuttle designation might have helped in that direction (I don't dispute that it's a freighter). Reporting to Neelix's location is nice little magic trick, but does it really work? Well, it was always on hand though we might have forgotten all about it, so it did indeed "suddenly appear". No worse than special downloads mentioning a resource that belongs to the character, I suppose. It's like saying, where there's a Neelix, the Baxial can't be far behind. As for attributes, Range has been given priority because it IS a freighter. Weapons and Shields are still fairly high for this small a vessel, but we saw it take hits and survive. It should be able to go into combat as much as a runabout. Aside from a couple of disturbing elements, the rest is pretty spaceworthy, but not enough for more than 2.6.

STOCKABILITY: Small craft can be useful for landing directly on planets (using Establish Landing Protocols or Blue Alert) and can be protected against attackers looking to take advantage of their low WEAPONS and SHIELDS, like Magnetic North or Evasive Maneuvers. They can be brought into play easily with Hidden Fighter, or if already in hand, the Baxial can report directly to Neelix's location. Either way, it need not meet quadrant requirements, and you could use its freighter status to take on relevant Alpha Quadrant missions/objectives or make cargo runs at Nors there. Being a freighter also makes it targetable by the 1st Rule of Acquisition. Speaking of being targetable, you can also play System 5 Disruptors on here, which, in combination with Plaque & Log (and Neelix, of course), will update the attributes to 9-11-8. 11 WEAPONS?!? Neelix is a good matching commander for it, since not only can it report directly to him, but you don't have to wait. He's got ENGINEER and so can download the ship via Construct Starship. Got the Baxial first? Download Neelix then with Ready Room Door. It's got no transporters which may or may not be a problem depending on your level of comfort with landing, but Neelix can run a Transporter Control Module with that ENGINEER of his. Handy! Finally, there's nothing stopping you from using the Baxial as a link in chain since it can carry shuttles aboard while keeping its no-staffing policy intact. It's easy to drive off to the edge of your RANGE, transfer all crew but one and launch for extended RANGE. And Scissionable to boot. Makes a strong showing for such an eyesore ;-). A 3.9 for the only DQ NA ship with no staffing requirements.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) Hey, I never said it was gonna be pretty.

#1277-Boothby, Personnel, Federation, HDA
"Groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy for more than 50 years. Has mentored countless cadets. Half the captains in Starfleet wouldn't be where they are without him."
-CIVILIAN, Your [Fed] Youth personnel may report where present and are each attributes all +2 while here; Biology

PICTURE: Looking, adequately enough, like a friendly curmundgeon (is that possible?), Boothby's close-up is clear though without the trademark hat. The context is good, putting vegetation behind him and the sun in his eyes. 3.7 should do it.

LORE: Good flavor throughout and in particular, in the last sentence as both Picard and Janeway owed him some of their success. A likeable 3.6.

TREK SENSE: As a gardener, Civilian is definitely his classification, and botany is often represented as the Biology skill. That's fine. Human Civilians should be Fed blue, and that's what he is. But how did they translate his "mentoring" abilities? Partially, I guess. He boosts the attributes of cadets present, but "cadets" here means any Youth Federation personnel. Well, maybe they just graduated, which is fine for Starfleet personnel, but what about other Youth? Alexander, for example. He's just got a way with young people is what it is, and I don't think it's outrageous to think he would advise them even if they weren't exactly cadets. The reporting function isn't as good though. It's already difficult enough to believe that Boothby would be part of a crew or Away Team, but that other personnel somehow report to him? Thematic, and nothing more. And when I said the ability was only partially rendered, it's because he does nothing for Starfleet captains. Ah well. Attributes? We've got the high Integrity needed to set even Starfleet captains straight, the Cunning to counsel them and the Strength of an old man (though he seemed a little more vital than that). They went a little too far with the special skill, so only a 2.9.

STOCKABILITY: We know how personnel that allow reporting can be useful thanks to The Emissary and the like, but Boothby's a little more limited than that "Siskoid". He only allows Federation Youth to do so. Youth isn't the best of skills, but the category still includes the android Lal, the highly skilled Chekovs and Uhuras (yes, Mirror too) and those exceptional munchkins Nog, Ezri Dax and Wesley Crusher. The ability side-steps quadrant restrictions, so those Mirrors and DQ personnel aren't excluded. It may be an easy way to bring Harry Kim, for example, to the Alpha Quadrant. All these personnel get a +2 to attributes as well, so that certainly helps, yes, the much younger ones who have lower STRENGTHs, but also makes some of them pretty formidable adversaries. Lal already has android strength, and Lightner can download a Rifle. Now, it's just standard reporting, not for free and no downloads, so it's more about easy access on long journeys, or reporting to non-designated Sites (Jake Sisko could use this) or in other quadrants. It all hinges on your wanting Boothby to hang around too, and his low STRENGTH could well spell the end of your reporting engine in the first battle. Biology's a good skill, sure, but CIVILIAN is far from as useful. Great INTEGRITY and CUNNING though. Cool, but no game breaker. Gives Youth personnel a little more to do, but not much. 3.1 here.

TOTAL: 13.3 (66.5%) My Favorite Martian, but not my favorite card.

#1288-Buster Kincaid, Personnel, Non-Aligned, Delta Quadrant, HDA
"Harry Kim played the role of Captain Proton's trusty sidekick through fiery volcanoes, crash landings, killer robots, alien invasions, and the Den of Crocodiles."
-OFFICER; If with Captain Proton, you may discard two cards from hand to draw one; Navigation; Staff icon

PICTURE: As I've mentioned in the Arachnia review, I really dig the black and white cards. They're simply brilliant. As for the pic itself, it's a good close-up, almost fished-eyed which goes with the 40s sci-fi theme, and the background is cool too, what with that circular window reminiscent of the old black and white "off-air" screen. Harry manages to look more heroic here than on his own card. It's a strong 4.3.

LORE: The prose is sufficiently Proton-ish, and I particularly enjoy the various cliffhangers from the Proton "series". Fun stuff worth a 4.

TREK SENSE: The buck stops here, unfortunately. The holodeck versions of various personae don't quite work within the game's storyline because they are treated as if they actually existed like this in the "real world". Yes, in Proton-land, there are no Feds, so Buster is Non-Aligned. But in actuality, Harry wouldn't really work with the Romulans without a Treaty. You know, Buster isn't from the Delta Quadrant, only Harry is ("from" being a relative term here), but Decipher tries to have it both ways. If we believe he is the character, then yes, he can staff Proton's ship, even fly it (Navigation), but how can that Staff icon be applied to real starships? Harry, of course, would have no trouble, but this isn't really Harry is it? I'm not even sure the classification applies. Captain Proton would obviously be an Officer, but his "sidekick"? We just don't know enough about the structure of Proton's organization, but I guess it's possible. He just didn't seem to be militarily structured, is all. The special download is so mechanical as to be unexplainable. As a sidekick, I agree that it should only be used if he's supporting the real hero of the stories, but what does he do exactly? He "spends" 2 resources to gain access to another. Ah? You could call this resourcefulness (like Admiral Kirk's), but I'm at a loss to explain the actual mechanic. Finally, we come to attributes, which I think were well done. Harry retains his 7 Integrity, which could have been higher for such a black and white hero (no shades of gray in Proton's world), but for the fact that he wasn't always "onboard" with Tom's scenarios. Cunning takes a drop to 6 since he doesn't know quite as much about this "universe" as Tom does, and it shows in his roleplaying. And Strength wins a point from the basic Harry because the scenarios are stacked in the heroes' favor, especially when it comes to fisticuffs. Too little, too late of course, so the score only reaches 1.9.

STOCKABILITY: Able to play with any DQ affiliation, Buster Kincaid only comes into his own when Captain Proton is present. Thankfully, Proton downloads him! Not only does Proton enable his special skill, but makes each of his attributes +2 as well. Though he's got good attributes (especially with his partner present) and the useful, if common, skill of Navigation, it's the special ability which will be precious to you. As long as the pair is united, you can discard two cards you can't use at the moment (you ARE recycling, right?) to draw one card from your draw deck. You're taking a chance that that card will be something more useful, but sometimes that can pay off. There's no per turn limit on the ability, so you could discard 8 cards to draw 4, and this is certainly a better way to shrink your hand than waiting for Scorched Hand to do it for you. A pretty balanced approach to discard-to-draw cards, probably balanced against Buster. After heavy early drawing, he's good for later purging. In any case, you can start the game with Harry Kim if playing Feds and switch him back and forth with Buster whenever you need a skill package or the discard/draw ability. I'm gonna say 3.7 here.

TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Things aren't so black and white in THIS world.

#1299-Bynars Data Transfer, Event, HDA
"A star in the Bynars' system went nova in 2364. Only their expertise with computers allowed them to transfer information from their main computer in time to save their world."
-Plays on table. Glance at the top five cards of your draw deck. Place them in any order on top of and/or beneath your draw deck, then place event beneath draw deck.

PICTURE: The drugged-up eyes, strange contusions under the Bynars' ears and their intimate pose are, I think, a little disturbing to many players. At least, that's what I heard when the card was first introduced. And indeed, while the image is pulled from the correct episode, I don't think it really captures the title concept very well - it should be about Bynar ability, but shows them in what looks like difficulty. 1.5 here.

LORE: A nice retelling of the Bynar mission from "11001001" (can't believe I've got that episode title committed to memory), it adequately describes the action. Nothing spectacular, it deserves its 3.1.

TREK SENSE: Uhh... let's call this one conceptual, shall we? Remember the episode? The Bynars download their world's memory core into the Enterprise to avoid the supernova's electromagnetic pulse, then reboot their homeworld by tranferring the data back to the core. Here, data is undoubtledly equated to cards, which is imprecise, but fair enough. After all, cards are the "data" we use to build ships, call personnel, perform actions that translate as events, objectives, et al. But what happens regarding this data isn't what happened in the episode, nor can it adequately be strictly described as a "Transfer". Sure, cards are transferred to your eyes (not to say your hand) where they may be placed in a certain order, then retransferred, if you will, to the top of the draw deck (where they used to be, new order not withstanding) or the bottom (a truer transfer). None of these transfers are anything like the one in "11001001" though. A poor showing only worth 0.3.

STOCKABILITY: Deck manipulation can be a little complex, but if you're good at it, it can be very useful. So while Data Transfer is an event and slow to play, it nonetheless allows you to reorganize your near future, first of all, seeing what you're gonna get, then re-ordering those cards, and possibly placing some of them at the bottom of the draw deck for much later use (or no use at all, depending on your opponent's strategy). That's great, though it can be derailed by your very next special download, so be sure to draw the card you wanted right away. At the very least, Data Transfer will decide that turn's card draw(s) from a choice of 5. It can be used to also fix your card probes (for several turns if you never shuffle) so the Borg could be quite interested (though they are big downloaders). One thing the Borg can't do with it that other affiliations can is suspending play to download it with 10 and 01 (Computer Skill x2 + Quark's Rods will get them out early). Yes, the duo can use it even during your opponent's turn, or to fix My First Raygun's probe. Similarly, only non-Borg can use Minuet to allow the card to play for free. But among the slew of new manipulation cards, is it better than the others? Well, it's very close to one of Handshake's functions, except for sending cards to the bottom of the draw deck, and a lot less flexible. Being a "Bynars" card does help as well and the card recycles itself, so it's got pep of its own (even if the picture characters don't seem to have any). The card gets 3.6 from me, though it really hits its stride in combination with other cards from its source episode.

TOTAL: 8.5 (42.5%) Mechanical cards like this are so artificial...

#1309-Captain Proton, Personnel, Non-Aligned, Delta Quadrant, HDA
"Spaceman First Class, Protector of Earth, Scourge of Intergalactic Evil. Tom Paris played the adventurous hero in his re-creation of the original 1930s sci-fi serials."
-OFFICER, Leadership, Navigation; SD Buster Kincaid; Your other [HDA] personnel present are attributes all +2; Command icon

PICTURE: I've already mentioned that the black & white cards were a good idea, and the heroic pose used on Proton also fits in extremely well with the 30s sci-fi serial genre. The background is cooky, as are the costume and raygun. It's a good 4.

LORE: The first three epithets are a lot of fun, so even if the last sentence is fairly dry exposition, you gotta like what precedes it. Enough for a 3.8 at any rate.

TREK SENSE: Captain Proton avoids one problem often found on "holodeck personae" (almost), that of actually being a combination of the character and the personnel playing its role. Nothing here has to harken to Tom Paris except the Delta Quadrant icon (if Proton defends Earth, he's gotta be in the Alpha Quadrant). Proton captains his rocket ship, so he's an Officer with Leadership and Navigation (and a Command icon). His sidekick is Buster Kincaid, so the download is very natural (makes the two friends inseparable in a way). He's got high Integrity (higher than Tom at any rate) because heroes were purer in those days. They were also close to invincible, which accounts for his superhuman Strength (human maximum has always been 8 in the past). Proton seems about as smart as Tom (de facto, I guess), so the Cunning is the same (7). The problem with all this, of course, is that Proton would have no real standing in the real universe. Tom dresses as Proton, and suddenly, people respect his Command icon? And since he's Non-Aligned (he'll work with anyone? he's still Tom inside), you'd have Kazon taking orders from him. And outside the holodeck, I bet Proton isn't nearly as invincible. See, there's just no way to reconcile the holocharacter with the real Star Trek universe. You can't take the character out of the program, so to speak. And I haven't forgotten the special skill. I kept it for the end because it is simply hogwash. The HDA expansion icon covers a lot of different personnel, some who could get a boost from Proton's presence, most who couldn't. Who could? Well, Buster Kincaid, for one, and perhaps other holodeck "actors" who see Tom's great depiction of Proton as some kind of inspiration. However, it's doubtful that the bad guys even from his own holoprogram (like Chaotica) would get a rise in Integrity from his presence. And what about the non-holo-related personnel? Els Renora? Rusot? Edward Jellico? True holograms like the Children of Light would likewise draw little inspiration from his (fake) adventures. They went real broad on this one, broader than Trek Sense can stand. Lots of problems, for a low 1.7.

STOCKABILITY: For a human, he's got very high STRENGTH if he ever gets into a fight, so he'll be able to defend himself better at Visit Cochrane Memorial where any affiliation can use him with an Engineering Kit (or simply as Tom Paris, it wouldn't matter once there if his affiliation didn't match your own). He's a strong OFFICER for Maglocks and other dilemmas, certainly, and his skills are useful if common. It's the special stuff which will make him or break him. First, he downloads Buster Kincaid, and then enable him to put a card cycling engine into motion. Buster can't do it without him, so there. Secondly, Proton can boost the attributes (+2 across the board) of any HDA personnel present with him. Holodeck Adventures had a LOT of personnel (including Buster Kincaid), so it's possible that the boost will be applied often. Proton's less likely to interact with Alpha Quadrant personnel, so takes out a few possibilities, but he's a fine personnel to use with a Children of Light deck (really, any deck heavy on holograms), but will also help Naomi Wildman survive and boost any Cravic/Pralor Units present. And of course, for the Feds, he can be switched with the "real" Tom Paris, a heavy-duty mission solver. It's a bit too bad that his Holoprogram is centered around Chaotica instead of himself and doesn't download him or allow him to report for free. In fact, having Proton at Holoprogram: The Fortress of Doom actually limits its effects. Ah well. A personnel whose use really depends on what other cards you're using, he'll get a 3.6.

TOTAL: 13.1 (65.5%) Holodeck Adventures routinely treads dangerous ground.

#1319-Carlos, Personnel, Non-Aligned, HDA
"Identity adopted by the Soong-type android Data in the fictional world of Dixon Hill. Snappy dresser with a nice tan. From South America. 'Can't you tell?'"
-CIVILIAN; If with Dixon Hill, your draw deck is "on ice": draw cards from discard pile instead; Computer Skill x2

PICTURE: Some hints beyond the use of custuming tell us we're in a period piece (the lamp, the sign), and the color palette is united in its "noir" feel. I know noir mean black, but the card may be a bit too dark nonetheless as Data's jacket melts into the background. The image does give off the right atmosphere, so it's still a 3.4.

LORE: I like the way they give away the persona - it's funly written and doesn't forget to make him an android. It only gets better from there. The mention of his tan alone is priceless, as is his reputed geographic origin. The quote seems a little disembodied to me - we're not used to quotes being added to lore, mostly just quotes AS lore - but follows through on the joke. A very funny 4.5.

TREK SENSE: Here we go again. The fact of the matter is that despite Data walking onto the bridge in this costume at the end of "The Big Goodbye", our favorite android wouldn't serve aboard a ship AS Carlos except in the most absurd of situations (and the card would have us believe he'd serve with Klingons, Cardassians, anybody). Again we have to ask: Is this the character of Carlos or is it really Data? Well, Carlos wouldn't be an android with super-human Strength, nor would a 1930s character have Computer Skill x2. Data, on the other hand, would be a Federation Officer with the ability to staff ships. If we accept him as some kind of improbable hybrid, here's what we get: The Data in him keeps his Computer Skill x2 by virtue of being able to program the holodeck. It's not his program though (unlike the Sherlock Holmes program) so it's not so much of a lock. As an android, he can't help to have 12 Strength, though his computer intellect is down to 10 because he doesn't understand the 1930s world as well as his native 2360s. Integrity is down to 7, I think, because Data was a little more "emotional" somehow in the first season, or should I say, a little more awkward interacting socially with people. Basically, Data's not as "pure" a character in his early and late (post-emotion chip) days. As Carlos, he would be Non-Aligned (from a time before Starfleet) and be a Civilian. His special ability in fact uses a little Dixonese (though unfortunately not as much as Dixon Hill's Business Card). It's just too bad it's almost entirely conceptual. See, putting someone "on ice" is perfect Dixon Hill, but the draw deck and discard piles only exist as the future and past of the story. Ok, so the Dixon Hill stuff represents the past, and Carlos makes you draw from the past rather than the future. Cute, but of course, the discard pile is a much more recent past than that. I like that Dixon Hill has to be present, because everyone simply accompanied Picard into the program, they wouldn't go by themselves, but I don't really see why Carlos would bear this ability more than another character. Sure, Data's got a database full of facts from the past, but I think the literature expert from the same episode, Lt. Dan Bell, could have served even better. All of that conceptual stuff only amounts to a 1.7.

STOCKABILITY: Personnel that require another specific personnel to really work are troublesome enough without that trigger personnel being ultra-rare. If you're like me (and there's a better chance than not that you are), you don't have a copy of Dixon Hill. That means you have little chance of implementing Carlos' "on ice" policy. These reviews are usually written as if everyone had access to all the cards, but I'll make mention of problematic rarity when I come across it. Without Dix, you've still got a Non-Aligned android with all the perks that come with that "species", including very high STRENGTH and CUNNING. Though Holoprogram: The Office of Dixon Hill doesn't allow him to report any more easily, his Computer Skill x2 does. Quark's Isolinear Rods'll download him to your hand at the earliest convenience if that's what you want (he's not an OFFICER like the "real" Data). He's still a version of the Data persona, and there are a lot of versions to fiddle around with: Premiere and FC Datas are big skill horses, Data and Picard (gee, Carlos and Dixon Hill) will work equally well with the Romulans and Feds, and of course, there's fellow holo-geek, Sherlock Holmes. If you have access to the special skill, you can use Carlos to manipulate your deck in a new way by drawing cards from your discard pile (thereby recycling them very quickly) instead of your draw deck. You absolutely need Dixon Hill present, but the ability is like a super Res-Q or something, especially with cards that allow for multiple card draws. Now, remember that Sherlock Holmes? He's got card manipulation skills too: start as Sherlock (who plays on Baker Street) and allow John Watson to discard your hand, then replenish your hand using Sherlock's own skill, hide Carlos under a Storage Capsule, then switch to Carlos (just returned to hand) and retrieve that discarded hand at every card draw. It's convoluted, but you could go back and forth, back and forth, until you got exactly the cards you wanted. Want to go back to the draw deck, just separate Carlos and Dix again. There's fun to be had for a skilled player, and the card still isn't a write-off for us common mortals who haven't gotten an ultra-rare since the Future Enterprise ;-). Computer Skill x2 alone is a good thing (Scanner Interference, Ferengi Ingenuity, other dilemmas and missions), and the first turn capability it allows makes a Crell Moset/Cybernetics Expertise deck manipulation deal come into play early. I give this "any Data" an excellent 3.9.

TOTAL: 13.5 (67.5%) That's what happens when verb-like effects find their way into a skill box.

#1329-Chancellor Gowron, Personnel, Klingon, HDA
"Beginning with his invasion of Cardassia in 2372, Gowron became increasingly prideful and paranoid. Nearly destroyed the Empire in his quest for glory."
-VIP, Leadership x2, Anthropology, Law; SD HQ: War Room; SD Council of Warriors; Command icon

PICTURE: The sandy background behind Gowron here adds cool motion to the card, though it looks pulled from the Combat Training gas giant or something. We finally get him with appropriately googly eyes (missing from the Premiere version), but the pose seems less Chancellor-ish than the first version, perhaps due to the creamy color palette. He also has better hair. Still a strong expression at 3.6.

LORE: Interesting in that it gives a reference point for when Gowron becomes "Chancellor Gowron". Of course, he became Chancellor back in "Redemption", but he wouldn't have these skills until he began making appearances in DS9. The lore also does a good job of describing his character and of adding an epic spin on his actions. A strong 3.9.

TREK SENSE: In DS9, Gowron brought the Klingon Empire back to its roots as an aggressor species. He's still the leader of a vast Empire (Leadership x2 applies), but has lost any sense of Diplomacy he might have had before. His quest for glory being motivated more by vanity and ambition than anything else also costs him his Honor. That takes care of what he's lost, but what about what he's gained? Anthropology might be related to his battling various other affiliations during this time, from the Cardassians to the Dominion (with added Breen), with a few potshots at the Federation. It's also an interesting link to Diplomacy that once you take a certain attitude out of the skill, you're left with pure knowledge of other peoples, i.e. Anthropology. Law may be explained by his maneuverings of various Klingon houses, of Martok, etc. Of course, he showed more knowledge of Klingon Law in TNG than DS9, but the skill wasn't around back in Premiere. Call it a Trek Sense fix then. He also gains a couple of downloads. One of these is HQ: War Room, which fits the Klingon leader during war time, and the other is Council of Warriors, which is a similarly themed card that also fits well. The first would be a tool he used in the war, the second one of his objectives for starting and continuing that war. As for attributes, there's a 2 point drop in Integrity to go along with his loss of Honor, but a 1 point rise in Cunning for his more complex machinations. I'll buy it. Overall, a good reworking of a classic character, and I give it a hearty 4.4.

STOCKABILITY: My question is why would you ever use the Premiere Gowron now that this card has come out? Why indeed? The Klingons have plenty of DipHoLes without resorting to the older card, and Chancellor Gowron retains the exceptional Leadership x2 anyway. Ah, there's the matter of plain, simple Gowron's matching commander status for the eminently boostable Bortas and also quite powerful Negh'Var. So okay, if you want to use those ships at full capacity, be my guest. But wait, can't we just use both and switch them around as needed? Well, sure! When in Chancellor mode, he still reports for free to The Great Hall and completes Archanis Dispute, but can also pass Executive Authorization, allow the Treaty with the Bajorans to play for free (a good mix with Klingon assault team strategies) and download via Going to the Top. He's got a better mix of skills, with the rarer Anthropology (it appears on multiple 40-point missions) and Law (few non-CF personnel have it). Diplomacy and Honor are always useful, but so very common. He's also got 2 special downloads, which once used, can give you an excuse to switch him over to his former self. The War Room lends +2 to the CUNNING and STRENGTH of your many matching OFFICERs, SECURITY and Leaders (including Gowron himself). He can just as well drop it on those allied Bajorans (that is, on Bajor) to boost their Resistance as well. Then, there's Council of Warriors, which allows him to put a very Klingon means of scoring into play. You need not wait for the card to come up, you can access it for your very first mission and enjoy its effects all game long (switch back to the other Gowron and attack some ships with either of his behemoths). All that, plus pretty good attributes, including high STRENGTH for killing personnel in connection with the Council. Another excellent 4.4.

TOTAL: 16.3 (81.5%) Cannot really compare to the 13.4 of his younger self.

#1339-Chaotica, Personnel, Non-Aligned, holographic, Delta Quadrant, HDA
"Evil ruler of Planet X, enemy of Captain Proton. Lusts after Arachnia. In 2375, waged war on photonic aliens from "the Fifth Dimension" with his fiendish Death Ray."
-VIP; Once each turn, may return one [Holo] personnel here to owner's hand; Treachery x2, Leadership; Command icon

PICTURE: Great camera-mugging expression on the B-movie villain, enhancing the already excellent black & white design of the card. His throne is in the back, and a guard, and these are interesting, not too distracting. Where can I get a lightning bolt collar of my own? ;-) A cool 3.7.

LORE: Written "in-period", Chaotica's lore is full of little gems. For example, he's not "romantically involved" with Arachnia, he "lusts" for her. It's also full of golden age sf terminology like Planet X, the Fifth Dimension and the Death Ray (which of course has to be "fiendish"). The date is from the "real world" though, and doesn't fit. A fun little romp worth 3.8.

TREK SENSE: Chaotica knows nothing of his Federation creator and does not align with him (quite the opposite!), so he's Non-Aligned. A powerful ruler, he scores Leadership, VIP and a Command icon. Fair enough, but these probably wouldn't translate into the non-holographic world. Thoroughly evil, he gets doubled Treachery and low Integrity. His fiendishness relates to his relatively high Cunning, and he did not appear Stronger than a 4. Returning holograms to an owner's hand is an effect whose Trek Sense depends on the owner. When Chaotica targets one of your holograms, he might be using his Leadership to dismiss them ("Out of my sight!!!"). When he targets an opposing hologram, he might be using his Death Ray on them. Heck, he might even use the Ray on your own personnel in a fit of rage. A Death Ray would more than deatcivate a hologram, it would probably erase it. But this isn't erasure (nobody stays dead in 40s serials!), you still seem to have the program on an isolinear chip somewhere, to upload again into your Holodeck. Dismissal would not lead to such extreme effects, however, so I guess he disintegrates everybody regardless of ownership. Muddy. I don't really have a problem with the Delta Quadrant icon though, since the program was designed and activated in the DQ. He should be "native" to DQ Holodecks then. Not bad overall, but not that sharp either: A 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: An anti-hologram hologram, Chaotica can lay a nasty trap for your opponent thanks to Holoprogram: The Fortress of Doom. First, he may be downloaded there, no fuss, no muss. His presence there prevents a player without a hologram present from attempting a mission at this same location. This will be particularly frustrating for decks that don't use holos. For those that do, Chaotica can send them back to their owner's hand. With Holodeck Door and the Holoprograms, it's easy to report them back, but followed up with Scorched Hand or Masaka Transformations or something (there is no perfect mechanism, unfortunately), it could lead to delays for your opponent. That ability can also be used to return your own holograms to your hand, using Holodeck Door to switch them from ship to ship, perhaps (including himself!). Chaotica also doubles the points offered by Lonzak for female captives (Lonzak also downloads to the Fortress). Outside the Fortress, Chaotica brings a couple skills to the table, including a lot of Treachery for most any Treacherous requirements, and Leadership, a good skill that also allows him to initiate battle. He'll work with anyone to boot, and with the Fortress, the Quadrant icon isn't even a limitation. One limitation that does exist however, is the -3 drop to attributes of personnel present with him as dictated by The President of Earth. That's on the off-chance that your opponent is using him, but it also means it's not a good idea to use the Prez if you're using Chaotica. Similarly, Captain Proton is not welcome at the Fortress since he inhibits Chaotica's special skill. Like a big giant Tribble, the mission-stopping ability can be interesting enough for inclusion. He's a 4.

TOTAL: 14.9 (74.5%) Insert diabolical laughter here.

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