To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Mirror, Mirror expansion set.
PICTURE: Everything's hazy and blurry, since this was just a piece of background. You can't see anything on the one-armed bandits, and the girl doesn't even seem to be playing. It's all too busy and unfocused. A 2.
LORE: Nice little story about the Hotel Royale, giving us a good quote on how clichéed the whole place was, but unfortunately, it's got nothing to do with the Slots specifically. Craps did the same thing, but at least it contained a dilemma element ("until they won enough money"). So while I like how it reads, it's misplaced and only gets 2.5.
TREK SENSE: First, there's not much chance of encountering this thing on any planet, is there? The Royale is a very specific place, that I don't think it moves around. Furthermore, I don't believe its claim of being AU. The Royale was not an other-dimensional, other-temporal place, it was in the here and now, only created by unknown powerful beings. A little surreal perhaps, a bit holographic maybe, but not from an "alternate universe". Maybe the icon helps sell the idea that Slots could be encountered anywhere, seeing as it's a 19th-21st-century Earth game. Could work without the "Royale Casino" prefix, but... On to the effects, they're even harder to justify. We definitely head into conceptual territory here as personnel in hand aren't really part of the game, and attributes aren't real numbers to the people involved. It's simply a way to create a random result for the slot machine, using the three attribute boxes as the slot matching wheels. Except you choose the card, so it's not exactly random, is it? Still, it's a spiffy idea. I question whether a result of 2 matches should "pay", though perhaps some machines give you some extra pulls (I never gamble, so I really don't know much about this stuff). Three matches is hitting the "jackpot" with double points. Something about all lucky 7s would have been nice (and closer to what was hinted about O'Brien in the Fajo Collection). No matches means you lose points. Money lost, I suppose. Because getting out of the Royale requires you to buy out the casino, winning at its side-games is a goal, so points for accomplishing these things makes sense. A lot of the card doesn't however, so only 1.9.
SEEDABILITY: The problem with a card like this is that you don't want to give your opponent the chance of winning 5 points, though you might count on the fact that all personnel are already in play thanks to free reporting, download chains, etc. Plenty of personnel have 2 matching attributes, in fact, though the Borg are of course prevented from winning bonus points, so don't count them in. When it comes to self-seeding it, bonus points are limited by Writ, but as long as you don't overdo it, you're ok. Since you know where it is, you can go grab 10 points with a personnel with Slots attributes. A complete list? Sure: The Romulans have Chief O'Brien and Dr. Telek R'Mor; the Bajorans General Krim, Shakaar Edon and Lupaza; for the Feds, there's Benjamin Sisko, Chakotay (NA too), Sam Lavelle, Dmitri Valtane, Ayala (also NA) and Miles O'Brien (Fajo); the Klingons have Jodmos and K'mtar; the Ferengi only Taar; and everyone can use the Non-aligned Ty Kajada and Captain Chakotay. 2E adds lots of others, mostly of the 5-5-5 and 6-6-6 persuasion. Ayala's probably the best here, since AMS gets him easily, and he doubles as a Non-Aligned. And if you're happy with 5 points, you can always run through the Royale Casino trio with Mickey D. He wins the side-games every time, and you don't have to keep a personnel in your hand. An unimpressive 3.
TOTAL: 9.4 (47%) Still does better than Blackjack.
PICTURE: Can't say I care much for the baby blue background or the pink kerchief, but Ruk has enough presence in that stare to make him at least a 3.
LORE: Very nice. The opening lines contain 2 useful keywords, namely Android and Bodyguard. The circumvention of his programming leads to murder, but we don't need to anger Ruk by saying that. Blackly humorous understatement. Speaking of black humor, the last line refers to the actor's role as Lurch in the the original Addams Family tv series. According to the song, they too were "mysterious and spooky". Excellently done at 4.5.
TREK SENSE: Ruk, the android bodyguard of Roger Korby, acts as his Security man, but has other talents. He's the one that taught Korby how to use the android-making machine, and so must have some Engineering programmed into him. Because that machine copies living beings in automaton form, it's not a stretch that such knowledge would include Exobiology. And Geology stems from his knowledge of the various caves and tunnels on Exo III, with which he seemed very familiar. The Staff icon is used more in the lab than on a ship, so it's slightly grating, but only slightly. You might think that a murdering robot would get lower Integrity, but he was very loyal to Korby, and that loyalty ups it a bit. Maybe too much. Cunning may be a bit low on the other hand, but his programming WAS limited to certain things, and his conversation wasn't great. Strength's the highest we've ever seen, and Ruk was indeed super-strong. Stronger than the Rock? Yes, even without the professional fighter's savvy. I'll buy it. And since I buy most of it, I'll give Ruk a 4.
STOCKABILITY: Only 3 skills, but he's got loads of stuff going for him aside from that. Not that they're bad skills, not at all. His dual-classification is excellent, with SECURITY meaning he can download via Defend Homeworld, and ENGINEER still being in high demand. Exobiology and Geology are strong dilemma-fighters, especially on planets. And what about those attributes? No real flaw in INTEGRITY or CUNNING, but STRENGTH is the highest we have. He'll mortally wound a personnel with a STRENGTH of 7 or less! Most personnel won't be able to stun him even with a hand weapon or two! Because he's a bodyguard, you can use the Bodyguards card to exclude more vulnerable personnel from battles (and they're ALL more vulnerable than he is), and if you give him a leader, you can choose who he actually goes up against. In an OS deck, he'll give you that android species you need to pass certain dilemmas, and even open up some verb cards you could use. And since everyone can basically use him, he'll fit into any assault team you care to bring together. Hits 4.3... hard!
TOTAL: 15.8 (79%) Too scared to leave him out of the top 10, I guess. ;-)
PICTURE: Rukor's a good-looking chap, well lit, and with a cool Klingon beam behind him. There's a little blur that makes his left eye go strange, but it's minor. And look how concetrated he is! 3.4 from me.
LORE: Mostly invention aside from his post, but it's invention that's totally in service of the game text. Plus, it's cool stuff and well-written. Another 3.4.
TREK SENSE: His skills mesh extremely well with his backstory. As a helmsman, he's a Staff-level Officer (yes, even if he's "chief" helmsman, since that word apparently doesn't mean higher rank in the Star Trek universe). The Badlands are so hard to navigate, his many missions there prove his Navigation x2 (especially if any of those were flying the enormous Regency 1, though I doubt this could be done at all). And since the Badlands are an astrophysical phenomenon, Astrophysics is also quite relevant. Integrity shows a loyal soldier of the Alliance, lowered to reflect the harsher conditions of the Mirror universe as usual. His Cunning is high enough given his skills. And his Strength is good for a Klingon console jockey. All in the clear, though of course, it doesn't take many risks. The only minus I see is that he doesn't read like a universal at all. A 4.
STOCKABILITY: Though a Mirror personnel, being a support personnel means he can pretty much use the right Assign objective to report to any large enough ship, whatever quadrant it's in. Since the Badlands exist in both the Alpha and Mirror quadrants, Rukor can help protect your ships from Plasma Storms at either point in the space-time continuum (as well as with the Study Badlands mission). In the Delta Quadrant, he could report to a lost ship (not the Voq'leng) with ASP or Home Away from Home (depending on ship size) and help to Study Protonebula. Having 2 Navigation also means he can pass Gravimetric Distortion, a rare universal to do so. Stellar Flare also holds no danger for him since he's got everything required of it. No real flaws either: Good attributes (especially with Lower Decks), a special staffing icon, and the ability to act as a leader in a pinch. A nice little support personnel with a x2 skill. That should be worth 3.5.
TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) He's a survivor alright.
PICTURE: The Badlands look seeded with blood to give them that reddish color, and that's a great look for the Mirror universe. I've always found the coppery planet at the center to be distinctive too - it's a mirror image of the one from Search and Rescue (in the Alpha Quadrant Badlands). A 3.9.
LORE: Not much room once the location is out of the way, but the mission couldn't be any clearer (with exactly how the rebels are thought of). A 3.2.
TREK SENSE: The three Alliance affiliations can attempt the mission, and the requirements make sure there are at least SOME actual Alliance personnel there. All good. Well-led Cunning Security can find those Rebels hiding on that planet eventually, but that does mean that half the Search has been completed: they found the planet. That's where it gets touchy, since Professor Sisko's task back in "Through the Looking Glass" was to construct a sensor array that would find that planet. So her required presence on the planet itself isn't really sensical. The long Span makes sense for a secret base far inside a plasma field. The points could be a little higher since the Rebels did consume a lot of the Alliance's attention (I guess they're still being underestimated here). And since this is the Terran rebellion HQ, the download of their Emblem, symbol of their organization and ideals, is more than acceptable. There's a central problem with the Search, but most of the elements do work. A 3.
SEEDABILITY: The Mirror Quadrant has only 3 missions, so unless you want to pack up and leave straight away, your Mirror deck will want at least one mission in "friendly" space. Search for Rebels is an excellent one for either the Alliance or the Terrans in fact. For the Alliance, it's a pretty easy mission even if you don't use Professor Sisko, and if a Rebellion HQ is played on the Hideout, you may report her there for free as a Terran personnel, only to backstab them as soon as you have one proper affiliated personnel there. Indeed, she could allow non-Mirror Klingons, Bajorans and Cardassians to complete this mission (in a side-trip deck). And there's nothing stopping the Alliance from downloading their Emblem here and even plopping down a Klingon Empire Outpost (no Mirror Nor though). This is an even better mission for the Terrans however, because they can use it as an HQ (although a simple Terran Outpost can also seed here). With the HQ in place, the Terrans report a free Terran or HQ card each turn. One of these HQ cards might as well be Secure Homeworld, adding a third mission to their Mirror possibilities (90 points total without leaving the Quadrant - though you still have to contend with The Big Picture - unless you have round-the-corner stuff to add to it). Indeed, Professor Sisko + either Commander Leeta or Bajoran Rom (covered by the Emblem) can solve it for you without the HQ card. With the download of their Emblem, they protect their ships and facilities from Navigate Plasma Storms, since after all, the mission IS in the Badlands (still a nasty card to protect you from non-Terran ships). The mission also makes a good launching pad for MQ excursions into the Delta Quadrant, using the Badlands-Caretaker's Array pipeline. A very strong 4.1.
TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) A good coming-together of many elements.
PICTURE: Problems include buck teeth, weird and insane eyes, and some kind of shaving cream gunk on Garak's chin. Some of these you might not agree are actually problems, since they're nonetheless fun. Mitigation comes in the form of very clear placement in the Mirror Quadrant: an Alliance badge, some Klingon bodyguards, an odd camera angle, and stark lighting flashing into the Klingon red on the left. The ayes have it at 3.4.
LORE: Though it's all a pretext to usefully name two Alliance leaders, I love the lasciviousness of the lore. The description of his relationship with both is totally in keeping with DS9's interpretation of the Mirror universe. (And it's all from the episodes themselves anyway.) A strong 4.3.
TREK SENSE: He's a Security Chief so he of course earns the Security skill, but since he was also the Intendent's first officer, he starts off with Officer. Computer Skill fits with most personnel from the 24th century, so no problem even if we didn't see him do much with a console. Biology is often used in the Mirror universe as a torture skill, and though this Garak could learn a lot from our own in that field, I do believe it's part of his skill package. Maybe Exobiology would have been more à propos given the variety of species he would get to work on, but Biology is ok. I would have been surprised if this guy didn't have Treachery, but I'm heartened to see he has a double dose. This is after all a guy who was not only evil to the Terrans, but was always looking to do in one of his own. As for the special download, it's too generic. I mean, why a Cardassian PADD more than an Agonizer? There's really no valid reason behind this. The attributes work however, with the Integrity lower than that old softy Garak, the Cunning naturally lower than any of the more inventive versions of the Garak persona, and yet more Strength than any of them thanks to true military service. A bit quickly drawn-up, I'm gonna have to go with an unsatisfying 3.
STOCKABILITY: The Mirror Garak may report for free thanks to the Emblem of the Alliance if The Intendent or Regent Worf are in play, so he's got a good chance of doing so. And once he's in play, he's got a good skill base, including two of the requirements of Search for Rebels. With Officer, he can report to Mirror Ops, and if he goes down to Ore Processing, may process ore there with his SECURITY (the Emblem protects ore processing in the Mirror Quadrant). Combine that SECURITY with Treachery, and you won't miss the Obsidian Order at your Brig. And that's Treachery x2, mind you, a skill that allows him to use both Protection Racket and The Art of Diplomacy, as well as now pass 2E's Inside Collaborators. Combine Treachery with Computer Skill, and you've got a strong personnel to throw opponents out an Airlock. Biology's always useful, of course. Aside from STRENGTH, the attributes are nothing to write home about, but he can add to them with his download of the proper equipment. The way a special download works, it may even suspend play during dilemma resolution to grab equipment for a Common Thief or Rebel Encounter, or just as a personnel battle starts. Hand weapons and PADDs is all you can grab (VR Headsets may be of limited value to Mirrors), but that's not too bad. At least there's a certain flexibility. Finally, note that he's a Garak, so will pass In the Pale Moonlight even if you've boosted his INTEGRITY (say, with a teddy bear), but you will have to watch out for the 47th Rule. Not spectacular, but all the pieces of the puzzle serve a purpose. Enough for a 3.7.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Still think they should have made this guy a chase card. ("Pursue!!!!!!!!!")
PICTURE: A nasty close-up of the evil Sulu, quite effective. The red line in the background matches his uniform, though it's almost distracting. Keep your eyes on that scar instead! A 3.4.
LORE: There's a difference in post and rank that deserves mention, though that sentence is more or less workmanlike. The last phrase is excellent however, giving us a peek into the mating attitudes of the mirror universe. Command Uhura indeed. Goes up to 3.7.
TREK SENSE: Not a lot in common with Lt. Sulu, but that makes sense given their different jobs. He's the ship's second Officer, and chief of Security, taking care of both his classifications and the Command icon. The Biology Lt. Sulu uses on plants, turns sinister in the mirror universe, where Biology often means an aptitude for torture. Computer Skill is on show during the episode, as he monitors the ship from the bridge (thus requiring Uhura's distraction), and since he does man the helm, you can't take his Navigation away from him. Treachery... do I need to spell it out for you? The download is fine, though not immensely satisfying. A security chief would have access to a Phaser, and would no doubt be the first to pull it out. Other than that, it seems a little blah. Attributes show an Integrity matching his Treachery, Cunning that's a little lower than Lt. Sulu's to show how he was distracted, while the brute's Strength is a point higher. A totally acceptable, though not surprising, 4.1.
STOCKABILITY: A nasty piece of work, his mix of skills is excellent for personnel battles your Terrans want to initiate thanks to their Emblem. OFFICER/SECURITY means he can act as a Bodyguard, for example. SECURITY/Treachery, meanwhile, allows him to download Torture, Interrogation or Brainwash on the personnel he's used Captured on. STRENGTH 7 is merely ok, but the special download adds more (to each of your OS personnel present), plus another SECURITY (again, Captured comes to mind). Not enough? He has everything you need to solve the universal Search for Weapons, under which you may seed more hand weapons. His special download makes him a great part of that OS Terran deck, since other personnel can also download skill-giving Equipment cards. Not that he doesn't have good skills already. Two classifications, and a bunch of oft-requested skills. Gotta go with a 4.
TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) A nice bag of tricks.
PICTURE: Row on row of the famous Stem Bolts. Fun, but the focus is all over the place, and the colors a little washed-out. A disappointingly plain 3.
LORE: We were never meant to understand what Self-Sealing Stem Bolts were really used for, and the first phrase which attempts an explanation is as opaque as the card's title. Excellent. Even more fun is the navigation through the Great Material Continuum that follows, complete with absurd alien quantities (well, I know what a gross is, at least). A lovely 4.8.
TREK SENSE: This is the Equipment card you don't actually USE, and that's totally in keeping with its role on the show. What you do with it, is trade for it. It can come into play by discarding another Equipment card, something you trade for the Stem Bolts. Remember though that no one really wanted the Bolts because they didn't know what to do with them, but Jake and Nog were finally able to trade them for something else, so they can discard the Bolts for another Equipment card. On the show, their final trade was for land, which doesn't count as Equipment, and I have the feeling that that's why a homeworld is required for the trade to occur. The designers' tongues are set deep in their cheeks on this one, because there's no reason a transaction couldn't occur elsewhere than on a homeworld, no reason Jake and Nog are the only ones that can move Stem Bolts (I'm not even sure Jake can do it alone), and no real reason you would give up Phaser Rifles for a gross of Stem Bolts ;-). Not afraid to be a little silly, but it's not all flowers from me. Still manages a 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: So why WOULD you want to give up a Phaser Rifle for a gross of Stem Bolts? Well, you really do need a Jake or a Nog (or the card Jake and Nog) to make use of the card adroitly. See, lots of personnel can download specific equipment, but what if you don't want that piece of equipment just now? If an appropriate personnel is present with the Equipment at a homeworld (all a bit of a pain, I admit), you can turn the offending Equipment into "useless" Stem Bolts, and on the next turn, turn those Bolts into the right Equipment card for your present needs. Maybe you downloaded a Medical Kit you don't want and would like a PADD for Jake Sisko instead. How about turning all those Equipment downloads found on Mirror personnel into Gold-Pressed Latinum for Mr. Nog's Bribery (and other Ferengi activities). All of this is pretty much reserved for Feds, Ferengi and Mirror personnel, so the Bolts won't help everyone. Even without either of the two friends, it could help you get another piece of Equipment for a cargo run, cashing in a first Equipment card at a homeworld, for another (the SSSB). Overall, while it's a fun card that offers some flexibility, it's a little hampered by its limited requirements and once-per-turn effect. Gets a 3.
TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) As a common, I bet few people have actually traded for it ;-).
PICTURE: Smiley may be one of the nicest guys in the Mirror universe, but the gun in his hand doesn't let you forget how dangerous he can be. He's been pushed too far. His jacket colors mesh nicely with the template, and I've always liked those patches of embroidery on him, since they look so much like open circuit casings. An above average 3.6.
LORE: His position is given, but not all that interesting, although there's a subtle crack about the Rebellion having so many leaders/captains. Matching commander status is given, packaged with the reasoning behind one of the special downloads (well, in a sense, behind both). A lackluster 3, really.
TREK SENSE: Smiley's an Engineer just like his "opposite", a tinkerer, a fixer of things (I'll stop before I end up writing my own lore here). At this point, he's gone from slave to soldier to commander of a Defiant. Thus, Leadership and the Command icon apply. He piloted the Defiant in her first battle, plus Interceptors before that, so Navigation also makes sense. Transporter Skill is required to beam over to a parallel universe. Anthropology... umm... I guess knowing the history of the Terran Empire so that you can tell it to the cabbage-heads would count. Not sure I like the either/or approach to the special download, it's just a mechanical conceit, but the two possibilities are well-associated with Smiley. He did Construct a Starship very quickly from just the blueprints (the term Miracle Worker would seem to apply), and as for Crossover, he was responsible for a number of them, having created the Multidimensional Transport Device. More than that (or else I'd push for a download of THAT piece of Equipment, even if it does download through Crossover), he specifically replaced a Mirror personnel with an Alpha Quadrant opposite, when he first crossed over Sisko. It's thanks to him that Crossovers are possible in the 24th century. Attributes can be usefully compared to Miles O'Brien's. We have lower Integrity to account for the Mirror universe's influence, but he's still above board. Cunning's the same, and he WAS capable of similar feats. Finally, we have the same Strength - O'Brien too was a soldier and knew how to fight. A very strong showing at 4.4.
STOCKABILITY: Smiley's an excellent Terran personnel, with a host of useful skills, some common (and oft-used) and some much more rare (like Transporter Skill - for Mine Dilithium - and as far as Terrans go, even Anthropology). Good attributes too, and he IS "any Miles", so "Pup" has nothing on him. Smiley is the matching commander of two ships, the Rebel Interceptor and the Defiant, though he can only download the latter with his special download of Construct Starship (because the other is universal). Either ship can report him aboard with Crew Reassignment, though of course, Ready Room Door is always ready to assist you. Plaque/Log stats for these ships? The Interceptor would clock in at a respectable 8-11-9 (11-11-9 within a region), and the Defiant at a very strong 10-13-12. Obviously, he can use the Construct Starship download to get other cards, like a facility or Spacedock. You might instead use the download to get Crossover, and then the Multidimensional Transport Device to initiate quadrant-to-quadrant beaming. Or if that's already taken care of, to simply allow your Mirror personnel to ignore their MQ icons. Either way, a good personnel to have when playing Mirror personnel. Battle initiation, a little Badlands coverage, a good classification... I'm going with 4.1.
TOTAL: 15.1 (75.5%) Something to smile about.
PICTURE: This one looked better when it was invisible. Here, it looks a lot like a piece of C-3PO or something, and its size and weight are lost without personnel in the shot. Furthermore, the lighting and various shapes in the background distract from the piece of equipment. Sorry, as low as 1.
LORE: Tells the story of this particular cloak, which is fine, and the expression "their Nagus" is in tune with the way Rom and Quark express themselves. The note about Martok is a bit of fun. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Though I don't really like the myriad cards representing various Cloaking Devices (not to mention it also exists as cardless special equipment), they do each tell a different story, which is good for Trek Sense. The title alone might refer to the Romulan Cloaking Device, but the lore makes it plain we're talking about the "Emperor's New Cloak". Still, the game text applies to any Stolen Cloak fairly well. It can't be reported to a Mirror facility because that universe doesn't have access to the technology (even if events from "Crossover" contradict this). It really does have to be brought there from our universe, either through the usual means, or through the Emperor's New Cloak card. Obviously, it cloaks a ship, but it is limited to larger ships, i.e. those with at least one staffing icon. This is fair considering the size of the thing. It wouldn't integrate well with a shuttle's systems, I imagine. Finally, since the Feds are considered honest (except those nasty Mirror guys), they wouldn't use a Stolen Cloak unless someone sufficiently Treacherous was responsible. Not only is it stolen goods, but Cloaks are generally illegal in the Federation. Really well thought-out at 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: Yet another Equipment card to represent a Cloaking Device, but I have to say this is the superior one. The Romulan Cloak is geared toward OS ships, and the Small Cloak has a countdown icon. If you need to cloak a small ship with no staffing icons, then go for the Small, but any other ship might as well use the Stolen type (Romulans might still use the Romulan Cloak for the easier reporting). Feds will need a Treachery personnel (except on a Terran ship), and the ship needs at least one staffing icon, but that's it, there are no other restrictions to using the thing. It can't be reported to the Mirror Quadrant via a facility, but The Emperor's New Cloak can still download an Equipment Cloak to a Mirror ship, and the Regency 1 with its special download, so it's not that big a restriction. Besides, a Mirror ship in the Alpha Quadrant can easily get supplied from a friendly facility there. Definitely the better Cloaking card, and I don't need to sell you on the defensive and offensive (through Engage Cloak) advantages of cloaking. A good 4, though it doesn't replace using a ship with a built-in cloak.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Only the Phased Cloak Artifact did better.
PICTURE: The hot pink isn't so bad thanks to harsh green lighting coming from the right. The mesh of Tal's shirt is matched by that of the grid behind him (seems like the officers like to keep walls between themselves and the crewmen, but keep a close eye on them at the same time). What's probably the headrest of a chair peeking from behind his head is the only element I find distracting, so an overall good 3.5.
LORE: His rank, post and role in the show are all given, and there's no room for anything else. No problems, nor any epiphanies. A 3.
TREK SENSE: The second-in-command of Charvanek's Battle Cruiser, he gets the standard Officer and Command icon combo. His monitoring of communications and detection of the Enterprise's signal accounts for both Security and Computer Skill. As for Anthropology, it might be because the usually reclusive Romulans met other species only rarely, and that he did so. Not much of a justification since his contact with humans and Vulcans was still very brief. Possibility that Romulan officers are trained in the skill if going to patrol the Neutral Zone? Charvanek has the similar Archaeology, but I'm grasping at straws. Because he is in charge of security aboard ship, he might respond to an intruder either from the bridge by calling an Intruder Alert! or by responding more personally with a Classic Disruptor. Integrity may seem high, but the Romulans were nicer folks in the Original Series, and in "The Enterprise Incident", they are more the victims of a crime than the perpetrators of one. High Cunning and Strength both follow the Romulan model. A well done 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: There aren't enough OS Romulans to make a deck out of, and I don't think one can even be made viable using OS Non-Aligneds, so Tal will probably be used either with modern Romulans or in a Treaty deck with the OS Klingons. In the first case, the download of the Classic Disruptor probably won't be a high priority, and a Ref-Q download might be saved by having him grab Intruder Alert. Unless your Romulans control a Nor, all you're going to do with that card is download Intruder Force Field and extend its effect to all intruders. Locks an opponent out of a few strategies like The Walls Have Ears and infiltration business, as well as Rogue Borg pinging and Telepathic Alien Kidnappers. Good, but rather defensive. If you're including more than one OS leader, and you should to justify your AU door, still consider the Classic Disruptor as a download. With it, not only do your OS Romulans get a STRENGTH boost, but all the OS leaders gain SECURITY. Tal thus becomes SECURITY x2, which is always good (he suddenly passes Failure to Communicate... and Nanite Attack, for that matter). And in a Treaty deck with OS Klingons, the Disruptor will affect many more personnel cards. He's got good, if more or less common, skills across the board, and very good attributes. Not over-the-top, but useful in a variety of situations at 3.5.
TOTAL: 13.7 (68.5%) Standing tall, but still subperfect.
PICTURE: An interesting bit of CGI on T'Vor puts him in front of a cave wall, perhaps to match his first skill. His actual background would have releaved that he was just another goon, which would have detracted from his Science classification. Of course, Klingons will be Klingons, and they're all warriors, right? At least Decipher put an effort in to hide his actual role, and it's got good lighting to boot. A 3.2.
LORE: Universality isn't acknowledged, and the first two sentences are the standard role/posting stuff, but the last two are a lot of fun. It comments on the Mirror Terok Nor itself, and shows how morality is skewed there to allow and support these attitudes. Gets a little boost to 3.6.
TREK SENSE: All we saw of T'Vor was as a security guard, but we've got to put that out of our minds. He might just have gotten a little guard duty, or he just remarkably LOOKS like the guard we saw on the show. As a typical Science officer on the Mirror Terok Nor, his skills are well chosen. Indeed, it's a mining station, so Geology fits, and since it's in the Bajoran system, location of the relatively uncharted Denorios Belt (they haven't found the Wormhole yet), Stellar Cartography makes a good side-skill. A support personnel if I ever saw one. Integrity doesn't make him a villain, but keeps him selfish. Cunning and Strength are well within Science and Klingon parameters. A simple but effective creation at 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: Thanks to Assign Support Personnel, T'Vor need not exclusively stay in Alliance decks, he can bring his skills to bear in any type of Klingon deck. With the Alliance, he brings special staffing needs, of course, but in general, you bring a support personnel along for his skills. Stellar Cartography also appears on Wo'Din and Kar'meth, the only other SCIENCE support the Klingons have, and Geology is only on the less useful Torak. T'Vor will fit at the usual Klingon SCIENCE missions like Survey Star System and Colony Preparations (both universal), and at Mining Survey for Empok Nor decks as well. Nothing immensely special, but no problems either. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) You heard it through the grapevine.
PICTURE: This guy has an ill-fitting wig and a dreary background, but still has a crisp kitsch value for some reason, no doubt because of those cheapo elements. Ugly, but funky, at 2.5.
LORE: Universality is first laid out, and then he gets more specific duties that could still be "universal", including the keyword "bodyguard". Average with a perk, it gets a fair 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Ok, Tagus is meant to be a typical (universal) Security officer. He's got the right icons and classification for that. As for the mission specialty, I don't quite agree with it. Does it make sense that Romulus would trust its capital city to Treacherous guards? Sure, Treachery seems to include some part of Intelligence (if we go by the Selok card), but though the skill can be linked to Security, it's more for spies than bodyguards. The middling Integrity isn't even sure it wants to agree. Cunning's a bit too high for this guard (just look at him!), and Strength, yeah, Strength's all right. I'm afraid the dissonance keeps the score at 1.9.
STOCKABILITY: The Romulans have so many Treachery missions, another Treachery mission specialist won't be regarded as one too many (Romulan missions requiring at least 3 Treachery: Expose Covert Supply, Feldomite Rush, Intercept Renegade, Secret Salvage, Strategic Diversion and Wormhole Negotiations). And unlike Parem and Selok, he evades Firestorm. The SECURITY classification is also a bit more useful than either VIP or a unique OFFICER. To give him a little more oomph, they've also made him a bodyguard, so he can sacrifice himself for A Fast Ship and use Bodyguards to protect other personnel (perhaps a valuable Senator). Pair him up with the unique Telak, or with copies of himself for more bodyguards. He can be used easily with a Scout Encounter/Extradition combo to get some captives, then have him guard the brig and download cards there thanks to SECURITY/Treachery. Good STRENGTH too, getting up to 10 with Lower Decks. Oh, this one's not bad at all. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 11.4 (57%) Useful, but dinky.
PICTURE: While the screen within a screen is neat enough (hmm, what part of Kirk is Marlena looking at there?), everything that surrounds that tiny screen is pretty bad. The set design, the colors, the composition, the focus... A yucky 1.6.
LORE: Well done, I think. It doesn't try to explain the device too much because it was pretty ridiculous, places it into context, and though the last sentence is a little bizarre, it's the truth. A competent 3.3.
TREK SENSE: The Artifact must be acquired by a Mirror universe ship, the crew of which no doubt kills the scientist responsible, just as Kirk did, rendering it Unique in the process. The Artifact could be uncovered in the Alpha Quadrant, which isn't impossible (the Mirror scientist must've had an opposite), but we may have to accept that he's been dead a long time, and we're just digging up the Artifact now, since after all, there are no OS-era missions. Then again, the AU and OS icons (even if the latter has little effect - it allows play at Sherman's Peak without an AU Door) may allow you to meet the inventor anyway. In any case, the effect is simple: Kill anyone, anywhere at the Field's location (barring only the two Enigmas whose existence is "anomalous"). The payment is rather mechanical, and even if tied to some kind of high energy expenditure (that bearded Spock never noticed?), there's no real reason beyond game balance why universals and uniques should have a different cost. Hard to mess up the effect itself, but the mechanicals around it are sometimes iffy: a 3.
SEEDABILITY: The perfect assassin card, the victim doesn't need to be "present" to be killed. Just flying the Mirror ship to the right location is enough. The ability is completely reusable each turn, and anyone can be targeted except the Borg Queen and the Mirror Quadrant Fontaine. The trade-off is a discard, an expensive one to kill a unique personnel, but that shouldn't be too bad with the Mirror universe having protected access to Process Ore's recycling. "Probe-rigging" might also be an answer. Reasons to kill specific personnel abound, from locking your opponent out of her current mission, to eliminating tough personnel battle competition, to ridding a ship of its matching commander, to removing a special skill from the game. You might even target your own personnel if their death would be helpful (worth points, or targeted by certain dilemmas). And while acquiring Artifacts can be a pain, you don't need to acquire this one. James Tiberius Kirk downloads it as if acquired. Download the ISS Enterprise at Halkan Council, make it download that JTK, and you've got the Tantalus Field on your first turn. A short hop to opponent's facility might, and you can start killing personnel as they report. And if they come after you, it can protect itself by killing off those that would destroy your ship (the card's real weakness - protect that ship well). A very nasty card worth a nasty, nasty 4.6.
TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) Glad #2000 could be a memorable card.
PICTURE: Taymar Bern really subtly comes off as coming from the Mirror universe thanks to a dirty color scheme and fascist trooper outfit. I'd almost say he's got a Star Wars kind of look, if that means anything. One problem is that he looks human, the ribbed nose not coming out clearly at all. Still above average at 3.3.
LORE: Functional if not particularly inventive. He's made universal from the start, and The Intendent is mentioned so as to make him more useful. Otherwise, we've got post, affiliation and specific role on the show. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Bajoran, yes, but from the Mirror Universe, putting him squarely in the Alliance camp. The important thing to remember here is that he's supposedly typical of Bajoran Security personnel in the Alliance. As such, I'm afraid he might come a little short. Classification, icons, and relatively high levels of Cunning and Strength all check out (especially if he's gonna be part of the "elite"). The rest, I'm not so sure about. This isn't the first time I've seen the Treachery/low Integrity combo on a Security personnel like this, but it still reads wrong. Mirror universe or not, would your elite guards be prone to Treachery? I understand the designers' dilemma: he's got to be nasty to his opponents (see Brig functions), but remain loyal to his side. There's no easy way to make this work well, and consequently, isn't a big issue. Navigation, I suppose, is meant to represent his helping track Professor Sisko in the corridors of Terok Nor. Sure, though the skill is more intimately tied to piloting. Again, debatable. Anthropology, for its part, has no bearing on the episode. The Alliance makes allies of 3 species/cultures, but that's very thin justification here. Merely filling a hole in the Alliance skill pool, I'm guessing. If everything's debatable, he can't get much higher than a 2.2 from me here.
STOCKABILITY: The Alliance gets to play a sort of Klingon/Cardassian combo that can use both battling ability and capture to ok effect, and Taymar Bern cashes into that well enough. He's got high STRENGTH for those personnel battles and a SECURITY/Treachery combo that allows downloads to your Brig (Interrogation, Brainwash, Torture). He shares that ability with Bareil, Security Chief Garak and Telok, but he's the only universal in the bunch (reporting next door to your Brig at the Security Office). From the Bajoran side, you might say, he's got a link to The Intendent, which allows him to report for free if she's already out. Skillwise, he's got a good mix of space and planet mission support, and neither Navigation nor Anthropology is particularly strongly represented in the Alliance. A universal with a couple of tricks up his sleeve, he gets 3.4.
TOTAL: 12 (60%) Elite, my foot. ;-)
PICTURE: A rather busy background, but Telok is framed well enough that it's not distracting. Good, arrogant expression. Still a bit baroque for my tastes, and thus, only 3.1.
LORE: All paraphrased from his few lines, it's a fun mention of the Sisters of Duras in the Mirror universe, and as such, appreciated. There's also the keyword "bodyguard" in there, which is useful. In all, it gets a 3.9.
TREK SENSE: Telok is the one that led (Leadership/Command icon) the team that caught Bashir and Smiley in "Crossover", which should cover the Security. That he's further a bodyguard is more questionable, since at this stage (Command icon), he's not in so low a position. It's also a matter of his having had the job in the past, but not necessarily now. He was a real jerk to Marauder, spitting in his face, etc., so the Treachery and low Integrity fit (not that Mirror personnel really need a reason). Computer Skill and Stellar Cartography, while not out of the question, aren't justified onscreen. You might say any 24th-century personnel may be rated at Computer Skill (I often have), and that crossing over from Klingon space to Bajoran could have given him experience in Stellar Cartography. It's ok, but not dead-on. To end with his 2 other attributes, the Cunning is low, which is fine from what we saw, and the high Strength too (could beat the Marauder). In the end, Telok just doesn't read that well, but can't be called bad either. A 3.
STOCKABILITY: A unique Alliance Klingon with a good classification, four skills besides, excellent STRENGTH, and the bodyguard keyword - he's a fairly good deal without being a game-breaker. A Leader with SECURITY, he's a good bet for Search for Rebels, but overall, his skills aren't really rare in the Alliance. He supports without being crucial. He IS the only Mirror Quadrant bodyguard, however, so can use that aspect to overcome A Fast Ship Would Be Nice. He can use Bodyguards too (to protect such personnel as The Intendent, Ezri and maybe even Regent Worf in personnel battle - ok, not much chance of the Regent), but he can do that simply with the SECURITY/Leadership combo (and Alliance-compatible Maihar'du can download it). Speaking of combos, Treachery/Computer Skill makes him good at throwing personnel out of Airlocks, which is another place his high STRENGTH pays off. There's enough for him to do that he deserves my 3.6.
TOTAL: 13.6 (68%) It's a coincidence that he gets the same as his former House's Duras.
PICTURE: Y'know what? Not until this very moment have I ever noticed a building on this card. But there it is, a brown box on top of those craggy cliffs. Well hidden, rebels! The card contrasts well with other outposts that way, but also in the harshness of the environment. There's the usual problem of this not being an orbital facility, but I'm gonna take that up in Trek Sense. Sure, it's got a dull color palette, but seems appropriate: 3.5.
LORE: Extends the definition of Outpost a little, but is well written (hey, they've actually used the word "enclave"). Room to spare, but Outposts are notoriously short-lored. A 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Outposts are outposts, and they share in a lot of Trek Sense problems. Foremost among them in this case, is the fact that all outposts are considered to be space/orbital facilities, when we know the rebels didn't have those kinds of resources and preferred the underground. There's the matter of being able to build an outpost in enemy territory, in particular in another quadrant. Mission attemptability is not a fair gauge of territory! Building is not really any better than seeding, and the requirement for building a facility is much too low. A single Engineer? That's one miracle worker! The Terrans make the most sense here because their outposts tend to be basic holes in the ground, and aren't nearly as fancy as other facilities. And the low Shields testify to this reality. One problem that's been dissipated, is that outposts aren't allowed on their own homeworld (no appropriate icon), but here, it can. No HQ is possible, because the Outpost would represent the Rebellion HQ before it became that (or once HQ operations moved, perhaps to Terok Nor). Nicely done there. It pays to add little touches like that, sending the score up to 2.5.
SEEDABILITY: Mirror personnel really have no dearth of options when it comes to facilities, which is incredible given there only three missions in their quadrant. That makes each one less important than they would be if they were the only option. For the Terrans, they could go with Terok Nor or their HQ. The former has all the benefits of Sites (but could be commandeered) and the latter has free plays (but your opponent could conceivably use it, maybe with dual Alliance-Terran cards). Both are limited to a single location, but nothing's very far in the Mirror Quadrant. The Terran Outpost can seed at 2 out of 3 missions in that quadrant (barring the existence of their HQ), so if you only want to attempt one of the missions, you could start there and not need to seed an extra mission just to put a facility on it. Thin justification for using this over the HQ (especially with its low SHIELDS), but paranoid players might like to play things closer to the vest. A 2.4.
TOTAL: 11.6 (58%) It's just a hole in the ground after all ;-).
PICTURE: Outposts show the outside of the facility, HQs show the inside, and in this case, we do know that the Rebellion HQ is the same place as the Terran Outpost (at least on the show). Can't really read the glass map there, but it looks good, a very nice contrast to the bleak, brown cave. The light fixture gives us something to focus on when first laying our eyes on the image, but it may be a bit bright for the rest. Composition has a mirror-like quality, with the image having two sides, natural and technological. Not awsome, but more than competent, it gets a 3.5.
LORE: Though short, it manages one cute stylistic choice in calling the Mirror universe Badlands, "treacherous". To me, funny. A 3.3 as a result.
TREK SENSE: It's all semantics, I realize, but there's something a bit odd about making the Terran Hideout a "homeworld". The HQ might have been movable since a Rebellion can't stay in one place for too long. In fact, they moved to Terok Nor in due time - you telling me they kept their HQ on Terran Hideout, or even still (or ever) considered that mudball their "homeworld"? This is perhaps stranger when you consider that the OS/AU Terran Empire also considers this their homeworld, even if they can't report to it. Semantics aside, it may be a little unfair for the Terran Rebellion to score a makeshift HQ, but not the Kazon, y'know? Maybe a good way to handle it would have been to allow the HQ to move around, or more leeway in selecting a site (not that there are a lot of places to sit yourself down in the Mirror Quadrant). Be that as it may, I don't disagree that it should act like an HQ, allowing Terran personnel to report there for free, and establish policies represented by HQ cards. I do think they are a special case, however, and that a lot more exceptions seem to crop up in their case. Does the Ferengi Credit Exchange even function in the Mirror universe? Would the Rebellion really have access to Orbital Weapons Platforms? I at first considered questioning the idea that "dual" Alliance-Terran personnel should be allowed to report to this "secret" base, but all the possible double-crosses are perfectly in line with the Mirror universe. Leaves us with the Shields, which are the highest we've ever seen this side of a Transwarp Hub. Impressive even by Mirror universe standards, is it credible that a ragtag band of rebels would have Shields this high? (Especially considering the Terran Outpost's weak Shields?) The answer lies in the underground nature of the HQ. It's protected by the planetoid's mantle itself, I guess. Still a tad high, unless it's really, really deep inside. A lot of questions bring this one down to a 2.
SEEDABILITY: An excellent HQ, it's actually got a couple things going over other HQs. For one thing, the SHIELDS are massive, and it'll be very hard for this facility to be destroyed by an armada. Secondly, there are far fewer restrictions as to who you can report there for free. No need to look for keywords or whatever, if you're Terran and not AU, then you can (as long as the Emblem allows you to work together). The AU (i.e. OS) Terran personnel tend to be superior to their 24th-century descendents, and CAN report there with a simple AU Door, but throw in Halkan Council, and you could be building two forces at a rate of two free reports each turn. What's more, the OS guys also benefit from any HQ cards played here, like War Room (which seems perfect when looking at the pic). Now, there are enough dual-aligned Alliance-Terran personnel that the HQ is not secure, and you could have a fight on your hands if your opponent is also playing Mirror personnel (especially the Alliance). And if you'd rather use a Nor, then you might not have the seed cards to spare to add an HQ on top of that (everything's close together anyway). Still, the HQ is recommended, if only because a Mirror vs. Mirror scenario has gotten remote with the addition of so many affiliations, quadrants and strategies. A strong 4.2.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Its legitimacy as a seat of government remains in question.
PICTURE: The lighting and red bars behind the Intendent makes her all the more dangerous, with the blurry phaser the only real problem. I like that she's smiling in the pic, since it makes her more "diplomatic" ;-). A 3.5.
LORE N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: The first function of the card gives some personnel the ability to use intimidation as a form of Diplomacy. Same results, different attitude, y'know? Who can use intimidation? Well, we're not easily intimidated, it turns out. I'd have thought a Nausicaan could have done, or a Klingon, but no. You're not TRULY intimidating unless you have a hand weapon in hand. Fine, maybe most personnel are braver than your average Trekkie. You also need to be Treacherous. Such personnel are ethically challenged enough to obtain what they want through threats, though only the Treachery x2 personnel are devious and arrogant enough to attempt intimidation without a buddy. The more Treachery you have in one spot, the more effective Diplomacy. Finally, only factions that have always lived with violence use this strategy. That means the Mirror guys (both Alliance and Terrans), the Maquis, the Bajoran Resistance and the Orion Syndicate. That's where balancing the card removes some of its Trek Sense. Klingons, Kazon, even non-Maquis Feds pushed to the limit (they do have Treachery after all) might use this strategy. At some point, these Treacherous personnel will be done with their Diplomatic gambit, and they'll kill someone. Discard incident, kill personnel present. Perfectly captures the Intendent's attitude, but it could be anyone doing this kind of stuff. "You trusted me? HA!" The first effect has a lot of style, and its only real problems are the somewhat arbitrary limits set on it. The second function has less to do with the concept, though strong-arming is still part of the theme. It has your Treachery x2 personnel (any affiliation) pulling out a hand weapon, probably from out of nowhere. Such a personnel may well have weapons hidden on their person. The once-per-game limit is, again, pretty artificial though. The Hidden Agenda makes sense here, though it's fine too for the first function, since you don't call ahead to tell someone you're gonna intimidate them. Would take out some of the fear you want to generate. So ok, strong, but not prefect at 3.8.
STOCKABILITY: Mirror, Maquis, Resistance and Orion Syndicate personnel aren't high on Diplomacy, so if you're using a lot of them, or in the case of the Mirrors, an entire faction of them, you might handicap yourself in regards to that commonly required skill. Whether it's dilemmas or simple Q-Nets, Diplomacy's important. Both the Alliance and Terrans can download it with their Emblems, in turn downloaded when seeding their homeworlds. Ok, so for each Treachery you have at one location, you have 1 Diplomacy (with no reduction from Rifles). This makes Treachery x2 particularly efficient, though you'll still need a hand weapon. For the Alliance, Security Chief Garak becomes a natural, since he can download that weapon AND has Treachery x2. If using more than one copy of the incident, you could also download a hand weapon to a 2 Treachery personnel, to then use the first function. That last function will work for any affiliation, giving a little edge to 2 Treachery personnel though it's not outrageous. Much more interesting is the part of the first function that allows The Art to be discard to essentially turn your intimidators into assassins. In fact, you might not care about the Diplomacy much at all. All you want is to kill personnel present, perhaps to gain an edge in battle, or just to be mean. The Diplomacy stuff is better left to Mirrors and decks heavy with Maquis, but the assassination stuff will work equally well with the few elligible Resistance and Orion Syndicate personnel you might have. As a Hidden Agenda, it can even be a surprise AND suspend play to have its effect, so a weapon might come into play before you resolve a battle, the kill might come as a complete surprise, etc. Easy to get into play, easy to use, and with a few nasty tricks up its sleeve, I'll give it a 4.2.
TOTAL: 15.33 (76.67%) Great ironic title too!
PICTURE: Rom and Quark miming the cloaking device through the halls of DS9 is a better shot of the thing than its own Equipment card (Stolen Cloaking Device) is. You sort of see it here, phasing in and out of view, but there are so many details in the shot (like garbage cans), that you're not initially sure you saw it. The focus is diluted by all the extraneous bits, so there's a drop in score, but it's got good humor behind it to begin with. A 3.4.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: While there's a large part of this "thieves' agenda" (hidden, of course) that relates to Cloaks, the very first part of the effect is more general. That's all right even with that title, since the expression can metaphorically mean whatever new "toy" the thieves are after. Thieves in this context are any personnel with Treachery. The card basically allows any kind of theft, so long as said Equipment is unattended (unguarded). But what if there's access to a Cloaking Device (the big prize)? The hurdle to be jumped here is that Cloaks CAN be Equipment cards, but most often are so-called "special equipment" built into a ship. Frankly, it's nicely handled, though not without its anomalies. You place the Objective on the ship as a kind of damage marker (though it's not damage of any sort), and poof, the Cloaking Device is gone from it. If there was a Cloak Equipment aboard, it's yours (attended or not?) or you can download your own to represent the Cloak that has just been divorced from the ship (in fact, you need to be able to download one and cannot simply remove cloaking ability without converting it into a card). Anomalies I spoke of include downloading a Small Cloaking Device from a Klingon Vor'Cha, or a Romulan Cloaking Device for that matter. Finally, you could score points from the Objective by bringing the Cloak to the right location. We know the Regent wants one, so to any ship he's on. Or you can less convincingly replay "The Enterprise Incident" and drop one on that ship "for study". Though this was the Objective of the Starship Enterprise at some point, it's a bit glib to give all Enterprises this goal, and no other Federation ships. Bringing the Cloak to the right party somehow restores the victim ship's cloaking ability, which is a bit odd. Overall though, we get a card that has its own little story, plus boosts storytelling in other ways (such as creating a thieving mechanism). Factor in anomalies and you wind up with a strong 4.
STOCKABILITY: The first effect allows you to steal Equipment cards left unattended, and is in fact cool to have in case your opponent doesn't use any ships with Cloaking Devices. The problem will usually be with finding such Equipment, but Away Teams that decimate another could then pick up their stuff (or perhaps the dilemmas already did this for you), or you could use infiltrators, Invasive Beam-In, The Walls Have Ears or Treachery-driven Subspace Transporter to get aboard a ship. What you can't use directly can always be taken on cargo runs or sold at Kressari Rendezvous. In the case of Cloaking Devices (3 specific Equipment cards to choose from, plus the "special equipment" version), it's imperative to get aboard a ship (no planet or Nor pick-ups), so the round-the-corner strategy may seem card-heavy. But once you've figured out how to do this (perhaps with the help of a Stolen Attack Ship?), it's not a bad deal. You must have a Cloak Equipment card (whichever you can best use with your resources) to download (perhaps Tented) in case your opponent is just flying on special equipment. From there, get in, get out with the Cloak, and bring it to your "leader". As long as you don't score points with it, the ship cannot cloak, which is a minor effect, but could make the ship vulnerable to attack before it can disappear again. Now, there are only two places where you can score the 10 points, but they're relatively broad. One is on an Enterprise, all of them Federation-affiliation. It's especially doable for the Treachery-heavy Terran Empire, though a Non-Aligned Treachery can help any other Feds. Any ship with Regent Worf aboard will also score you the points, which may intimate that only the Alliance and Klingons can make use of the option, but with Micro-Wormhole, he can fit into any crew. Hey, he's got the Treachery to steal the thing himself! Even without the points, you still gain a Cloaking Device, which can be cool in and of itself. You might already have Cloaking Devices aplenty, of course, but a Small Cloaking Device would count down anyway, discard and could be recycled into your deck for further "New Cloaks". There's a way to use this effectively, and more than once, but be ready to simply turn it into a Equipment-theft card if your opponent doesn't have the proper technology. A 3.7 then.
TOTAL: 14.8 (74%) More interesting than the various Cloak cards, which I found to be rather redundant.
PICTURE: The big donut looks good here, surrounded by ruins, all well lit. Some CGI work went into the image, various characters having been removed from the image. It works well enough, though if they could have made the Guardian active, I might have liked that more. Still a 3.4.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: There is only one Guardian, and it's on the planet designated Gateway (Historical Research). It allows your personnel to time travel to another (duh) time location, and the reason they specify the same quadrant is to avoid your going to the Mirror universe. Fair enough, it's not like there are DQ and GQ TLs. The return option is only for personnel who used the Guardian to get "downtime" in the first place, but they can bring back personnel originating in the past (natives) or that got there some other way. Not sure the Guardian would allow this, though rescues are more plausible (to avoid accidental tampering with time). Bizarre (but you must try to ignore it) is that the Guardian as shown on tv is from the same time period as Sherman's Peak. But of course, it endures... The second effect keeps the doorway open, which is fine and standard stuff. The third gives you a reason to time travel: for study! Yes, those that study history, Anthropologists and Archaeologists, may return from the past with findings that turn into card draws. That's a lot of card draws for studying history though, or were they CHANGING it in beneficial ways? No, I can't think about that. It's too big a can of worms. This must be a return BACK (as above), so that you started at Gateway and are coming back the way you came. Ok, overpowered, but I like the idea. As for the fact that the doorway is placed out-of-play, well that could be the Guardian's way of limiting abuse. Each card "convinces" him to let people through, and each excuse can't be used again. Leaves at quite a good 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: When you seed Historical Research, you may immediately download The Guardian of Forever there. No fuss, no muss. You can then use it to make your personnel time travel easily from there to any time location. What are you doing there? Well, in the case of Montana Missile Complex, Cetacean Institute and even Sherman's Peak/K-7, you might be trying to cause a time disruption. Sending modern personnel back could help you do that (or prevent it). In the case of Camp Khitomer and again Sherman's Peak, you could use a modern personnel to go back, then bring back free personnel reported to their native location, perhaps bypassing AU mechanisms and such (especially if you don't care for older ships). The real reason to use The Guardian however, and a simple TL besides, is for the massive card draws. On one turn, send over as many Anthropology or Archaeology personnel as you care to. On each subsequent turn, you may bring one of them back for up to 4 card draws! Again and again if you want more! One personnel can keep going back and forth, or multiple personnel can return one at a time. The only hitch is that you need the Guardians in hand (don't cost a card draw though), and they go out-of-play instead of the discard pile. You have to stock many of them if you want multiple draws, that's for sure, but even just one is hot stuff. Note that with Strategema, you don't need to fear Revolving Door and the need to waste a Guardian on reopening the doorway. A strong 4.4.
TOTAL: 16 (80%) Highly rated, not unlike the episode it stems from.
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