To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Necessary Evil set.
PICTURE: Always liked that fiery transporter effect of Ardra's, and they catch it in mid-transport here. The bouffant hairstyle hasn't aged well, but some sexiness lingers. There's just enough of a ridge on her eyebrows to create a horn-like effect. Background's ok, but too bottom-heavy, and the colors are poor browns. Shakespeare's Complete Works make an appearance, but my personal obsessions can't be allowed to interfere too much here. Foreground good, background average. A 3.1.
LORE: Some interesting images even if Ardra was just blowing smoke, and a similarly cool title. Spells out 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Not the only dilemma in "Devil's Due", from the effect, this represents only a small part of the episode. Ardra shows up somewhere, and tries to seduce the crew's Leader so that she can commit more crimes, get away, whatever she wants. A seduced Leader is stopped, and Ardra may come back for another night later since the dilemma goes back into the pile. The mission continues, but the Leader in question is "away" doing something else. A one-night stand, a couple of magic tricks, danger level/Cost of 2... I'm fine with it. I'm surprised that neither option for overcoming the dilemma includes Integrity. In fact, neither requirement is personal and specific to a Leader. If the entire crew is working on the problem, we're back to the entirety of "Devil's Due", although the solution to THAT should include Transporters somewhere, at the very least to debunk Ardra's disappearing act. Ok, so what do we actually get? In the first scenario, you've got to be immensely smart to figure out Ardra's plans. You need to sweet-talk her as well as the inhabitants of the planet (Ardra visited many worlds with her scams) to allay any of their fears. You would also seem to be able to deceive her, use her own tricks against her. 2 Treachery is a hefty requirement for that, especially since we know the TNG crew that solved this in the first place was pretty much normally without the skill. The second set of requirements finds Ardra's ship hidden in orbit (combination of Navigation and Physics), and figures out her tricks, puts a stop to them, etc. with Engineer and probably the Physics again. Seems muddled to me, and I can't go above 2.2.
STOCKABILITY: The Cost is low (2), but the effect is slim as it only stops one Leadership personnel. However, there's a great chance that the dilemma'll actually hit, thanks to very high requirements. Most skills are required in multiples, and the Cunning requirements is very high indeed. If the Feds are good at Diplomacy, they're not at Treachery. Other affiliations might be biased the other way. The second set seems the most forgiving, but that's still a lot of skills. A Devil Scorned could be used to filter out Leadership to follow up with such dilemmas as the cheapo Kolaran Raiders, The Moon's a Window to Heaven, and many others. Since it is a random selection, having an Infiltrator present and using Set Up could yield some interesting results (perhaps as Tense Negotiations show up). A Bad End, meanwhile, could do away with the personnel entirely, yee-haw! Overwhelmed will stop a lot of people after this one. Usually a simple filter, at least it's designed to be effective. A 3.
TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) Feel the scorn.
PICTURE: Pic seems a bit oversaturated, but otherwise it's a fun image of Quark being "framed". The all-one-side background does compromise the composition a tad, and the title isn't clearly served. A 3 and no more.
LORE: Again, fun, with a simple dialog that's all irony, finally fulfilling the title's promise. You get the sense of a threat even if you've never seen the episode. A cool 3.5.
TREK SENSE: The idea is that you have an unpleasant meeting (despite
the title) and to take care of it, someone must go ahead and either talk
to these ruffians (a Diplomacy is thus stopped), or trick them into leaving
you alone (a Treachery personnel). Rather vague, and many questions come
to mind. For example, why is this only a space dilemma? After all, it would
be easier for the ruffians to pull a Surprise on a planet than on your
ship (tighten up security!). It's a problem that comes with associated
problems on the station (DS9) with problems encountered at a space mission.
Also, where is the rest of the crew while your one personnel is being intimidated?
And why such a random selection? I guess it's more of a Surprise if we
don't know beforehand who has a skeleton in their closet. So I'll buy that
last element, and I'll also buy the "danger factor" of 2. The situation
is dangerous and threatening even if you always manage to deal with it
without loss of limb or life. One last problem though: If neither a Diplomacy
personnel nor a Treachery personnel are present, then the dilemma has no
effect. So... what happens there? Do the ruffians somehow only have a history
with Diplomats and Traitors? Well, the latter might have done something
to cause the bad blood, but the former? Aside from a greater possibility
of having "dealt" with people in the past, I don't see why it's any more
appropriate than Intelligence or Acquisition. I can't see more than 1.8
1E TREK SENSE: All the same except it lacks the success won by the Cost. 1.5 then.
STOCKABILITY: Just a filter, but one that has no requirements so will
work every time, provided either skill is present (and in 2E, there are
usually a lot of skills in a crew). While it can be used in combination
with a further dilemma that will require a filtered skill, the fact that
you might hit either Diplomacy or Treachery, two pretty different skills,
means there's a big risk that IT won't hit. For example, against the Feds
(especially TNG), losing Treachery might be fatal, but chances are the
random pick will hit a Diplomacy personnel. Sigh. Maybe it's time to break
out the Alien Gambling Device. Still, you throw a little Don't Let It End
This Way, and you've got an assured random kill for a total Cost of 2.
Before a dilemma requiring a similar Diplomacy/Treachery option (i.e. Inside
Collaborators), its effectiveness could rise a little. To be fair, a 3.5.
1E SEEDABILITY: All comments above (save elements of Cost) pretty much stand in 1E. The dilemma could be a little more effective before Nagilum or Implication (which have high Diplomacy requirements), though losing Treachery is only really a hassle to the Federation (for In the Pale Moonlight, for example, or even Q Gets the Point and Dangerous Liaisons). That last skill is less important in dilemma resolution, but at the same time, both are very common skills (throwing the random selection very wide). A small bump down to 3.3.
TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) Oops, a rather unpleasant score.
1E TOTAL: 11.3 (56.5%) Never liked paintings on velvet anyway ;-).
PICTURE: Yay, Trelaine! A simple enough pic, but it showcases what I like about 2E pics - their size. This anamorphic-like screen gives the subjects room to breathe, with plenty of distance between the characters for action and a real sense of the cage walls thanks to the shadows. A little plain on the color side of things, but still a good 3.5.
LORE: Trelaine isn't as witty as he thinks, and I wouldn't call this goading more than an average 3.
TREK SENSE: One big issue that must be resolved is what "Consume" means in Trek Sense. Here's what I think: It's called "Consume" because it consumes your dilemma pile, but that's all mechanical. What it really means is that the dilemma (A Royal Hunt, in this case) actually represents multiple dilemmas. In this example, our friend Trelaine has Kirk and company jump more than just one hoop. He's got a lot more planned for them (3 in all, if we trust the Consume number, or 2 if you like, since A Royal Hunt is never actually overcome). The Royal Hunt, as it were, takes too long to be a single dilemma, in other words. You can take it to mean that the dilemma would normally have been the focus of an entire episode, rather than a simple hurdle where the mission is the crux of the show. So "Consume" passes the test. Does the rest? Well, Trelaine can snatch you on a ship or on a planet, so the space/planet icon fits. Also fitting, I think, is the Cost of zero - Trelaine is essentially toothless and merely occasions a waste of time (3 dilemmas' worth). The danger is still close to nil (his parents would always interfere). Wasting time recurs in the effect, stopping one or more personnel. The mechanics of that stopping, however, are entirely too artificial. First, it hoses decks that use multiple HQs. No real reason can be given. Second, it hoses large crews, stopping one more personnel (per HQ) is 9 personnel still remain after the first stop. You could say that the more personnel Trelaine has access to, the more he kidnaps for his games, but why stop at 2? I'm not happy with the exact effects of the card, but I'm really glad the Consume keyword won't be a headache. Somewhere around a 2.8.
STOCKABILITY: The only Consume dilemma that can be played at both planet and space missions, A Royal Hunt also has the benefit of costing zero (especially helpful in combination with Machinations, since you can get at it directly when you KNOW there are enough personnel to warrant it - and by returning to the pile, it can be Machinated again and again). Zero, but there is another kind of cost: Using the dilemma immediately overcomes 2 dilemmas from your pile, dilemmas you won't get to pull and use at all. That's an issue in deck design, but also means further mission attempts will be easier than they should be. Thankfully, the zero Cost means you can use more dilemmas after this one. According to Decipher's formula (and by looking at similar dilemmas, like Pinned Down), the cost for this dilemma should be 2 (Consume number plus Cost; 2+0). The effect is a small one, though against certain strategies, it grows in power. It's just a simple one-personnel filter normally, but if there were at least 10 personnel in the crew (a Mega-crew trying to race through dilemmas and mission requirements), you get a second filtered personnel. And if your opponent is using a second HQ (as many players do to get the benefits of two affiliations while avoiding their weaknesses), it doubles A Royal Hunt's stopping power. Up to 4 stopped personnel against the right opponent? Not bad. But usually, you'll probably just get one. Hey, time to break out A Bad End or Don't Let It End This Way (also Cost 0) to kill that stationary personnel. The trade-offs associated with many Necessary Evil cards makes me wonder if the scores will tend to level out. In this case, risky but worthy of Machinations at 3.5.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) Yep, levels off.
PICTURE: The tight close-up features an odd neckline, but otherwise, great mood lighting and a complex expression on Marritza's face, conveying at once his outrage, anger, anguish and sadness. A 3.6.
LORE: Some of his last words, at the height of his breakdown, and still connecting well to his printed abilities. The subtitle is worthy. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: We've got a guy who was ready to die executed just to send
a message, and also one who couldn't sleep at night knowing what atrocities
had been committed by his government. A double dose of Honor and high Integrity
certainly fits the bill. Only a file clerk, yes, but militarily-trained
nonetheless, so the Staff icon works. Programming is what he would have
used in day to day affairs. As for the special ability, it's thematically
linked to his taking on the identity of Gul Darhe'el, taking on, as it
were, one of the Gul's skills in the process. Indeed, Darhe'el/The Butcher
of Gallitep has 5 skills, none of which Marritza has. Of course, taking
on a skill would be more than simply taking on an identity. Well, not in
all cases: Officer and Leadership might indeed be just a matter of acting
the part (it's temporary anyway). Maybe Treachery is too. Intelligence
might be approximated thanks to his impressive filing system (he ran circles
around Kira, for example). In fact, many skills might be approximated by
his checking out exactly the right information. He really shouldn't be
exhibiting skills Darhe'el didn't, but changing gears was something he
was at least good at. Telepathy shouldn't be possible however. There IS
a sacrifice to be made each time (of one discard), which could represent
resources lost because he had to check his files or something, though conceptually
it's meant to represent the plastic surgery and self-sacrifice. His scheme
would have deserved higher Cunning, in my opinion, though 6 seems to be
equivalent to 1E's 8 in that respect, so ok. Strength's low because he
was a sick man. As for the Cost, it's low because he was just a "lowly"
filing clerk, though you have to wonder if someone of this moral fiber
can be so easily found on Cardassia. And in fact, his self-imposed exile
would sort of preclude his working with normal Cardassians entirely. I
know he wasn't part of the group, but the keyword Dissident might have
helped. If he were drafted into service though, it wouldn't be at great
Cost, so ok. As you can see, the conceptuals keep this card down, but a
lot of them can be made to work, so a still respectable 3.6.
1E TREK SENSE: Reads about the same, though here the Cunning IS too low. Taking him as a version of the original's persona, he's more towards the end of the episode, so the drop in Strength might make sense there (he's getting weaker), while the Integrity drop might hint at a touch of hysteria on his part. He loses Archaeology, but I never really could justify that skill anyway. No classification, but Civilian was as close to a non-classification as we ever had. Still, it's an unexplained difference from standard 1E cards (he can always emulate it with his special skill, but still). There are more skills he just shouldn't be able to emulate in 1E, like Mindmeld, Youth and the like. Adjusted to a 3.2.
STOCKABILITY: 2 Honor will help you with many dilemmas and isn't a stereotypical
Cardassian skill. You'll usually find Honor on Dissidents, most of which
are very cheap, but have other "costs" (discards, attribute drains). Marritza
doesn't quite compare with the Dissidents who don't have these extra costs
as far as the skills go (very few), but his Integrity can't be beat. He's
got the highest of the affiliation! Now, though he has only 2 skills (one
being a double), you can add a skill during mission attempts by simply
discarding a card from hand. The wastrel Cardassians are used to this kind
of cost, and so their decks are thick and can enable quick card draws fairly
easily to replace the discards (I'm thinking along the lines of Awaiting
Trial, "Observer" from the Obsidian Order, Vast Resources, or The Pillage
of Bajor). You could use the ability to replace a skill required by the
mission that you just lost to a dilemma, for example, or simply fix holes
in your skill pool. And at each mission attempt, Marritza can bring a new
one to bear, as long as you pay the fee. His own Cost is a pretty sensible
2. The Integrity alone might be worth it (it's easily double most Cardassians')...
he'll be a somewhat strong mission-solver... I see a 3.7.
1E STOCKABILITY: We have to see him as an alternative to the subtitle-less 1E version, since you can only use one at a time. Well, seeing as the original has been designed to die for points, why not use the 2E model until that point, only persona-switching at the end of the game? He's got the same skills, with Archaeology now being a "your choice" skill that costs a discard to enable. Discards are less cool in 1E, but if you can run an effective Ore Processing deck (still possible, if usually with Mirror universe help), those cards will be back. I know it sounds strange, but this Marritza might work wonders in Espionage decks, being able to give himself unCardassian skills like Resistance (to name but one). On the down-side, his attributes are far from as good, and you might be afraid to see him die before you had to change to replace him. Well, what's the problem? You've got the 1E version in hand for the replacement, right? Just report that one normally when the time comes and send it to its death. Some interesting functions and certainly doesn't invalidate the original. They even might work well together. A 3.6.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Dissidence, in whatever form, pays.
1E TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Just a decimal point under the original.
PICTURE: The usual TNG softness to the image isn't too bad here - though the red comes out a little funky - and the color palette is pleasant enough. Conor is in an idyllic setting and has a perfect (plastic) hairstyle that both highlight the utopia he is meant to be leader of. Competently done at 3.3.
LORE: The subtitle is a real winner, since "Born" here goes beyond the usual expression. We might even say he was conceived to be Leader. The lore itself is a quote meant to justify his special ability. It also figures into his skills. A good 3.5.
TREK SENSE: A Genetically Enhanced human (note that the word is not "Engineered" to sensibly exclude Jem'Hadar and Vorta from the category), engineered to be the leader of the "Masterpiece Society". In that package, we find Leadership, of course, but also Diplomacy, which can be used to arbitrate disputes on the internal level, and then was used to deal with the Enterprise. High levels of Integrity and Honor is also a good thing to breed into our leaders (not that we have much evidence of that to go on in our own world), and Conor's shows up when he sacrifices love for his people. His enhancements make him smarter and stronger than average, but nothing beyond what he would need in his position. No Command icon because that should be the ability to command a starship, and he had no ships. I also think the Cost is fair, given that he's from an isolated world (but see below), but I wonder if he really would now leave his world to go on mission attempts. Does that sound like him? We could imagine that after meeting the Enterprise, diplomatic avenues were opened and he might have started travelling off-world (though never permanently leaving). The special ability helps explain it. You choose an opponent to, in effect, make contact with (though Conor is working with another culture entirely, i.e. your own cards). He's so delighted with meeting new people that he more readily enters play. He's so eager, his Cost drops for every HQ the contacted player has. So his encounter with the Enterprise really did change his world view. I do think it tends to make him cheaper than a world leader should be. It also ignores other affiliations in play, and even if you ignore your own, wouldn't he be excited if YOU had more than one HQ? Still, an elegant design that answers its own questions. Enough for a 3.8.
STOCKABILITY: Any affiliation might use him for the high attributes (especially his Integrity) and skills (a classic DipHoLe - not as frequent in 2E - with one double skill). He's at least good enough to overcome Misguided Activist alone, and has skills no other mutant does. The actual Cost is 2, and if your opponent (or AN opponent in multi-player games) is using 2 HQs, he only costs 1. I wouldn't call that hosing their deck, but it does take advantage of it. That said, Conor is still better used with Federation affiliations because his skill pool can be increased (almost doubled) with We're Mutants. The Feds have access to the most mutants anyway. Most have card manipulation abilities, but in his case, it's just a reporting feature. A minor personnel then, but take him as a borderline weenie with high attributes and focused skills. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 14.1 (70.5%) Need more enhancements?
PICTURE: Always thought the scene was a bit over the top, but religious leaders have a way of bringing that kind of reaction out of people. Opaka's effective and there's great contrast between the Bajoran costumes and the background. The light source looks a little out of place in that natural setting, but the colors and lighting are evocative of a religious experience. Thumbs up and a 3.5.
LORE: Good advice, well said, and appropriately abstract. Good title too. And plants the seed for what would become of Kira's character later in the series. Another 3.5.
TREK SENSE: The Bajorans have had a hard past, a violent past, so this card is for them. That's what the initial requirement is all about. The rest seems conceptual. The past, in game terms, is the discard pile. The present is represented by your hand. The discard may be the spiritual crisis your Bajoran(s) is(are) going through, losing something that brings a need for Accepting the Past to the fore. I might have seen it as what you move beyond, but then it should have come AFTER the effect. In any case, Accepting the Past is then represented by still holding in your hand things from your past (you accept that, though they are part of the past, they are still part of the present). If you can do so, a spiritual epiphany ensues, a success of sorts, and thus, 5 points. It's a good idea to allow Bajorans to score points for spiritual goals, but can the card move beyond its conceptual nature into the (so-called) real world? Sure, since taken as pure resources, cards may still be things of the past and present. For example, you might have to accept that you still have No Love for the Spoon Heads or still are involved in Rash Aggression. For cards like the Gratitude Festival and Peldar Joi that aren't part of a nasty past, they may be a different acceptance, that of your old customs, which you realize aren't outmoded. Different cards will be of varying meaning, but good storytellers will usually find a way. So I have to accept that this card works very well indeed. Cost is low because this is an internal journey that requires no physical effort. A 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: Bajorans are adept at using their discard pile for a variety of reasons, so may well discard cards on purpose (say, with The Emissary of the Prophets, or one of the Terok Nor dissidents). One reason to do so is Accepting the Past. In a deck that uses multiples of some cards - combat cards might be frequent, as might be card manipulation schemes or weenies - you could stand to score points from it all. Accepting costs only 1 counter, but also a discard. A dangerous discard since you might lose one of the copies you need to score the points. Still, the Bajorans have ways of getting back lost cards, using what's lost, etc., so you might only lose the Cost of the Event. It's a cheap and relatively painless, if perhaps not always available, way to score a few points, perhaps to pay for some of those Necessary Evil effects. A 3.5.
TOTAL: 15 (75%) More than acceptable.
PICTURE: Fun stuff! This was a great shot when first aired in "Way of the Warrior", and it still packs a punch. Perhaps the Dominion war would have been more appropriate, but this tight claustrophobic shot (that nevertheless has depth) still has the right energy, and it's a rarer armada-vs.-facility match-up. Some details are a little hard to make out because of the colors and shadows, but a still very cool 3.7.
LORE: Posturing from Gowron, with his last threat being a classic, buggy-eyed moment. Glad this got copy on a Klingon card, and so a 4.
TREK SENSE: Klingons are, of course, naturals for battle cards, and in this case, All-Out War would include both combat and engagements. And since in war, a lot of people get killed, successful Klingons kill 3 (ouch) personnel. Not entirely sure how that works in the specific battle, however, since the card represents only one battle, not the entire war. Do more people really stand to die in times of war? Well, perhaps the Klingons are playing for keeps this time, and purposely going for more casualties. Maybe, but the effect does seem a little more thematic than usual for these permission slips. Are we to believe that unseen ships or personnel are also present to cause some grief? Well, we can't really, since Weapons and Strength aren't boosted. Now, the Cost of an All-Out War should be more than 2, right? And it is, but it's a different kind of cost. Losing points is akin, if we go by previous reviews, to cheating to accomplish a goal (so the goal is worth less). In this case, we might think that 1) it's an unjust war simply used for political maneuverings or boosting the economy (never seen that happen in the real world), and 2) it begs the question "at what cost?". Sure, you killed lots of people in the war, but what did the Klingons sacrifice (unseen in the background) to mount up this offensive? If resources were not spent as per Cost, then what did the Klingons lose? Diplomatic clout? Alliances? Good men and women? That all helps support the two-stage cost of All-Out War. Some good stuff here, though again, the theme gets sometimes unjustified support. A 4.
STOCKABILITY: 3 kills!!! Only the Bajorans' Militia Patrol boasts as many casualties, and then only for Assaults. All-Out War is more flexible, with both Assault and Maneuver uses. The cost may seem problematic because of the point loss. Indeed, what you sacrifice must be earned again some other way. Perhaps another victory with A Chance at Glory can recoup the points. The low Cost of All-Out War will allow you to play more cards each turn, so A Chance at Glory shouldn't be too much. You win a first battle, killing 3 personnel, then later attack again to earn 10 points, this time helped by the reduced numbers of your opponent. That's 3 dead personnel and a net gain of 5 points. Various combinations like that can be attempted, that's just the first that sprang to mind. Points may be recouped as easily as with Deploy the Fleet, and more damaged can be leveled with Ferocity, bought with those extra counters. Standing Your Ground may be used to keep the All-Out War in play after use, and since only PLAYING it costs 5 points, those 5 points can be used more than once. A one-time fee for 6 or more kills (depending on the number of times you use Standing Your Ground). A powerful battling card, then, and the "necessary evil" (the point loss) can be worked around fairly easily. A hearty Klingon 4.5.
TOTAL: 16.2 (81%) Well, they did say "All-Out".
PICTURE: The 4 dissidents are huddled together and looking suspicious, with my main misgivings being about the fact they can't all be in focus, and the orange tint that permeates everything. The lighting offers a certain mood, but orange? The background, at least, imprisons the characters in a mess of lines. More good than bad, I'll go with a 3.4.
LORE: Incredibly specific dialogue that doesn't pay off in the card's effect, and barely matches the title. More concerned with putting sound to the picture, it's neither very interesting or à propos. A 2.
TREK SENSE: I guess what comes across is that all Dissidents are Allies on the Inside, the Inside of SOMEwhere. Thing is, we have no Dissident mechanics as of yet that would allow Dissidents to be allies to anyone but themselves, and, for some unexplained reason, for their root affiliation. If they worked more like Infiltrators, then we'd be in business, but right now, the Terok Nor player (as one example), is playing his OWN Dissidents, and they go on to hurt HIM (generally with a discard when they report). Ok, so Dissidents aren't Allies on the Inside for your opponent, but they are on the Inside of your affiliation, and the card's effect is to, in essence, find out you - the Dissident movement - have an Ally on the Inside. "Quark is on our side? We'll bring him in soon now that he's in our hand." Bringing that personnel into the fold takes some effort, as per the discard cost, because it's probably dangerous, or they might need some coaxing. Oh, the effect works, but the title perhaps gets the card in trouble. Still a 4, and we'll just have to see how specific Dissidents stack up.
STOCKABILITY: An Interrupt to play in the Order phase, it has a Cost of 0, but really another kind of cost in the form of discards. What's nice about it is that Dissidents are bona fide weenies! A Kira that costs 1, a Leeta at 0, an Odo at 2. In fact, only the Romulans Soran and Tal'Aura cost more than 2, and aside from Leeta, Tora Ziyal also costs nothing at all to download, and then can be played virtually for free (well, one discard after all). Though you could work this card into a straight Bajoran deck (though Dissidents do play off each other and are better together), the three actual affiliations it's meant to cover are Terok Nor, Cardassian, and Romulan. The latter two's Dissidents don't have the automatic discard on each personnel (Natima Lang being the exception, and Tora Ziyal for that matter), but the Romulans, though they have a couple of non-uniques (not the kind of personnel you'd waste a card downloading), they have some higher Cost personnel. 3 discards is pretty steep, though Tal'Aura is a useful Assassin. The Cardassians will sometimes get drawbacks when using Dissidents - Joret Dal lowers ship attributes, for example - though this is the exception rather than the rule. They actually stand the most to gain from Allies on the Inside, grabbing, perhaps, Iliana Ghemor to download up to 3 more Dissidents and place them in play. A few dig deep, Mila can kill interrupts, Seskal might become unstoppable, etc. Some nice options. With the multi-cultural Terok Nor gang, you do have an automatic discard to think about, but that's mitigated by the Cost 0 personnel. A lot of their special abilities prop other Dissidents up, so you can build up your skill base and attribute totals reasonably well. None of them really stand out, so it depends on the situation as to which you want to download, if any. If you decide any one Dissident is important to your strategy, then Allies may be a good idea. It IS balanced, however, so no power card. A 3.4 about covers it.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) More Dissident action please!
PICTURE: Well, Enterprise shots are always neat since they are few and far between. We get that Rajiin is working for the other side by her standing with the Xindi, though the spying part isn't actually presented. She's alluring enough for the title, and her tatoos intrigue. On the other hand, the whole composition is less than dynamic, and the Xindi are on the blurry side. 3.1 to start with.
LORE: Tells us what we're looking at and how it related to the title. Not bad prose, it's still fairly workmanlike. No sparks here, so your average 3.
TREK SENSE: Being a space dilemma puts the Spy aboard ship, that's clear enough, though I can't see why a Spy couldn't infiltrate a group on a planet. The effect is that a Security personnel is stopped, either because she (the Alluring Spy) has yet to be found, but has been detected (sending the Security on her trail), or because she's using her Alluring quality to distract the Security in question (that being the field that wants to be exploited by her side - as would happen if you followed up with a Security-related dilemma). Indeed, she ISN'T caught, since she returns to the dilemma pile. (Note that while I say "she" as relating to Rajiin, a similar male Spy might be Alluring to your female Security.) Ok, so how do you stop her from doing this? Two possibilities. I'm not sure I quite get the first set of requirements: The Spy might be turned with Diplomacy, a connection made to her "people" via Exobiology (a tenuous link requiring much of the skill), but so much Strength? Are we going after the Spy's people here? Strong-arming her seems to go against the Diplomacy. The second set is more straightforward. Intelligence and Cunning help you discover and even trap the Spy. The Leadership might be needed to coordinate the whole thing without giving the game away, and you need so much because you're ordering people to forget about the Allure. Hard to betray a beautiful woman, I guess ;-). Leaves us with the Cost, or Danger Factor as I like to call it, and it's about right. A Spy is potentially a lot of trouble, but she's not there to cause outright damage or anything. I'd say the card's Achilles' heel is its requirements, unfortunately a large portion of the game text here. No more than 2.5 then.
STOCKABILITY: Not a bad dilemma to set up Security-related dilemmas, either set of requirements is relatively hefty. On the one hand, there's a large Exobiology requirement, which isn't often found paired to a Diplomacy personnel, and a high amount of Strength to match. On the other, we have the rare Intelligence with the much more common Leadership and a still good amount of Cunning. If Intelligence is available at all, then the second set will surely be used, but if not, it's not that easy to come up with the first. Once Alluring Spy hits, it makes dilemmas like Disgraceful Assault, Naausican Pirates and Dangerous Liaisons more potent (to name only a few). Its large requirement list could be good for Overwhelmed. Cost is fine, though the effect is small, it is specific for combos. I'm gonna spring for a 3.4.
TOTAL: 12 (60%) Not so much allure when you know what she really is ;-).
PICTURE: "Hero" Jem'Hadar look cool. B-Jem'Hadar have lesser make-up and often don't. That's Amar'itak's beady-eyed plight basically. He seems well equipped, grendades showing and all, but what's the gizmo on his shoulder that looks something like a little birdie or squirrel? Color palette's really cold and monochrome, which actually isn't helping with anything. Not disastrous, but still only a 2.
LORE: I like these kinds of quotes for non-unique personnel, words that basically talk about a whole class of personnel. It's a solid bit about the Jem'Hadar, and there is some measure of payoff to it in the game text. A good 3.4.
TREK SENSE: A low-level Jem'Hadar soldier should have Security and the ability to Staff a ship, and he should have high Strength. That's all there. As for the two other skills, that's been a Jem'Hadar thing since 1E: various skills seem to be bred into them in case they are needed. In this case, we might remember that Amar'itak served in the internment camp Garak and Worf were sent to. There, Exobiology would have helped gauge (or fight) the multi-racial inmate population. Since it was built in an asteroid, Geology might come in handy for extending the compound or dealing with emergencies, collisions, etc. Hey, works for me. The special ability plays into that as well as into the lore, but is rather thematic. First, Jem'Hadar need to get orders from Vorta, so the ability only works if a Vorta is in play when Amar'itak is played. Sure, though the timing issue is mechanical more than anything - no reason for the ability to only kick upon play, or why a Vorta couldn't issue orders on a later turn. The ability allows you to draw resources for every affiliation you are up against (and that are working together, since they all must be one player's). It fits the theme of the camp for sure, but it also shows that our little Jem'Hadar doesn't fear his opponents, no matter their numbers. It makes sense for the Dominion to better prepare if they're up against a lot of affiliations (even just one, since there's a minimum of one card draw here), but keying it off a lowly Jem'Hadar... bah. Also can't see why his Cost would be more than the next soldier or guard (other than for mechanical and balance issues). Integrity shows loyalty and courage, but can't go too high because the Dominion is on the wrong side of the moral spectrum, I suppose. The average Cunning is fine. The theme is nice, but how pleased are we that the effect appears here? A 2.9.
STOCKABILITY: Necessary Evil gave us a number of multi-affiliation hosers and this one serves the Dominion well. I mean, he's relatively cheap, has few, but useful skills and one high attribute, is a Jem'Hadar for all cards that require such, and affords you a minimum of one free card draw upon being played. If your opponent isn't playing more than one headquarters mission, then fine, you take your one card (you DO have a Vorta in play, right?) and leave it at that. If your opponent has two, then you get two. Play more than one Amar'itak to get more and more card draws. Could be worth it. At a minimum, it pays off the counter you paid to get him into hand in the first place. Nothing game-breaking, but saving on counters in one place to pay for more or bigger stuff instead is excellent. The Dominion has a lot of other, even personnel-related, card draw engines, so it'll really depend on your need for his skills and attributes in any particular mission-solving strategy. I gives 3.5.
TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) Wasn't really meant to compete with unique Vorta and Founders.
PICTURE: The saving grace of this card is that we don't often get to see the station in this darkened state. Otherwise, we've got a pretty blurry card here. The jumbly background also doesn't help much, being brighter than the foreground and as a result, distracting. Makes the composition's all wrong. Only 1.7.
LORE: The little story here, practically in 1E style, makes Anneli your typical Bajoran militia member. Nothing big, it's an average 3.
TREK SENSE: As a typical, low-rank (Staff) militia member, Anneli has
some design problems. My first objection is to the DS9 icon. She was part
of an invading force (in "The Siege") on the station, but never part of
the station's crew. These have been given the icon, but can only be considered
to have used the station as a HQ for a very brief time, and never as a
stage to attempt missions. I disagree with it strongly. Anneli's skills
seem geared toward a few things we saw this occupying force do. For example,
she might use Science/Biology to track the real DS9 crew still hiding on
the station. Astrometrics isn't a bad one to have in proximity to a wormhole.
The fact the two first skills are so different does seem strange however.
Not impossible though, just very different to be found on a Cunning 5 Science
personnel. Not that I'm objecting to the all-average attributes. Those
are fine. The special ability makes her a little stronger, craftier and
more ethical if an event is in your core. This is quite thematic, but isn't
too bad. See, when something's happening (an Event), she's at her best.
Events in the core are closest to the kind of Events that would correspond
to that definition, but of course, specific Events may or may not fit this
theme. I don't dislike it though. No problems with the weenie Cost, as
she represents any number of eager militamen and women. A near-miss at
1E TREK SENSE: You might think the DS9 icon is moot in 1E, but since some backwards-compatible cards do make use of the icon, it's not really. It needs not mean the same thing, of course, and isn't mixed up with any reporting issues (that puts some of the pressure off). The attributes are no longer average, of course, and she's even a little stupid in this environment. Not that big a deal, though it does raise questions about the varied skill mix. That Astrometrics may be turned into either Stellar Cartography or Astrophysics when she's reported works fine because she's universal. One Anneli-type might have Astrophysics, another might have Stellar Cartography. The above justification works for either, but in a slightly different way. Science isn't in the classification slot, creating anomalies in the use of Equipment and such. Those differences taken into account, some ups, some downs, we get to a the same 2.9.
STOCKABILITY: Anneli fits the usual weenie profile of 3 skills and very
average attributes, but she gets a little boost from simply having an Event
in your core. That shouldn't be too hard to make happen, since there are
plenty of nice options for Bajorans and DS9 alike. With that Event
in play, her attributes are all 6s. Not game-breaking, but in 2E, attributes
are quite important. Assaults and Maneuvers have to be discarded to trigger
their effects, so she wouldn't stay boosted from these forever, but stuff
like For the Sisko or Astrometrics Lab is fine for the whole game. Her
3 skills make her equally useful in planet and space environments (Biology
is rarer in Bajorans), and she's definitely the best 1-counter weenie the
Bajorans have with a Staff icon. The Cost is definitely right. I'd say
she's a 3.5.
1E STOCKABILITY: No DS9 affiliation here, so she's just Bajoran (excepting Treaty decks), and not entirely as useful. The skills are good enough, and the Astrometrics gives her more flexibility (a choice of 2 possible skills, depending on your needs), but there's no real classification here, and 3 skills keeps her from being a support personnel. The attributes are quite low, though Lower Decks would make them all 8s (it's an Event). That's not so hot in 1E, since attributes aren't nearly as important, but it does make her a lot more palatable. I'd see her fit Colony Preparations well enough... but can't go above 3.3.
TOTAL: 11.1 (55.5%) Those Circle pawns deserve no better.
1E TOTAL: 10.9 (54.5%) Ties with the lowest in the affiliation.
#2116-Anything or Anyone, Event, Cost: 3, unique /NE/
-Infiltration; To play this event, you must command three [Dom] personnel. Plays in your core. You may execute only one order using this event each turn.
-Order: Place an Infiltrator from hand on this event. (You now command that personnel.)
-Order: Place an Infiltrator from this event aboard an opponent's ship or on an opponent's planet mission.
PICTURE: The real Dr. Bashir is behind a forcefield, and a Bashir Founder
(not THE Bashir Founder) is smuggly turning into protoplasm. A fun reveal,
though the perspective has always seemed odd to me (even on the show). Manages
LORE: None. I know people don't like it, but unless the title is real clever, I'll have to be coherent and give a zero when we've been robbed of lore. In this case, the title is a kind of quote: "[They could be] anything or anyone." Still not much, I can spare 0.2 for its evocative powers.
TREK SENSE: This Infiltration card is meant to represent the placing of an infiltrator aboard a ship or at least in opponent's territory (though sadly not the HQ). Not an easy task necessarily (we still don't know how the Founders train themselves to mimic personalities and specialties so well), so the Cost seems fair. Other limits may be a bit mechanical however. The first of these is common enough in 2E and has ample justification. Having 3 Dominion personnel assumes the Dominion actually is in play, and the Link is there to make this operation possible. One artificial limit is that the Event is unique. Only one Infiltrator at a time? More discreet, but there's no real justification in Trek Sense terms. This is just to balance the effect. Getting an Infiltrator into position takes time (fair enough, covers are established, etc.) as you place it on the Event (it is in play, as you "command" it), and only on the next turn can you place it where you need it. It's a kind of Engage Cloak for personnel that creates the same surprise depicted on this card. Some moves may seem strange, but the lost turn could be the one where they came on board as an Ensign Bob. A very good 3.9.
STOCKABILITY: The trick to using Infiltrators is to place them in opposing crews and then using other cards to mess up an opponent's actions. Examples include damaging a ship with Changeling Sabotage, lowering attributes with Misdirection, adding requirements to missions with Founder Trap, and more. Infiltrators have special abilities that allow them to download Infiltration cards, or else lower their Cost or otherwise play off them. And don't forget the planet option. Ships are a fine place to send your Infiltrator to, but most tricks can also be pulled at planet missions (like Under Suspicion to get more to spend on dilemmas). Since planet missions exclude headquarters missions, I'm afraid this can't be used to get personnel at HQs for Your Fear Will Destroy You. Too bad. Enemy in Your Midst is this card's competitor, but your Infiltrators must be at the same location as the ship they want to board. It's much cheaper (1) and allows for any number of Infiltrators to make the jump. On the other hand, it's not as flexible and is also destroyed upon use. Anything or Anyone stays in play, and allows you to send Infiltrator after Infiltrator to wherever you need them. Costs more, and there's a rather annoying delay, though the paranoia it creates is interesting. As one of the starters to a successful Infiltration strategy, this is gonna have to be a 3.8.
TOTAL: 11.4 (57%) Gimme some lore and we'll talk.
#2129-Apprehended, Event, Cost: 0 /NE/
-Assault; Capture; Maneuver; Plays in your core.
-Order: Lose 5 points and destroy this event to begin combat or an engagement involving your [Car] personnel. If you win, choose an opponent's personnel involved to place in your brig.
"It is my duty to inform you that you will be turned over to a Cardassian Tribunal, where you will be tried as war criminals."
PICTURE: This capture of Worf and Ezri is certainly fun, with all the guards for just the two of them, and their adding a strong splash of color in the middle of the image, but I have to comment on the graininess of the photo, as well as on the fact that this is, in fact, a re-capture as they were trying to escape from a previous one. I only mention the latter because it makes the image less appropriate to the game text. Still a pleasant enough 3.4.
LORE: In other words, "where you will be found to be war criminals" since Cardassian verdicts are known in advance. I like that a capture card offers something like Miranda rights (Cardassian-style, of course), which goes a long way rehabilitating the rather lackluster title. Hits 3.7.
TREK SENSE: While there's nothing wrong with a battle permission that ends with the capture of a personnel - all quite legitimate - I have many problems with the details of it. First of all: the cost. At 0 counters, there's no energy expended, and instead, you give up 5 points. Losing points is akin to some kind of cop-out, a "cheat" within the game world, since points are accomplishments. This is uncalled for here. Second, while it's easy to envision combat resulting in the capture of a single personnel, it's much harder to do the same with engagements. Sure, Worf and Ezri were originally caught in space (by the Breen, not the Cardassians however), but there are still two of them. The extradition from "Tribunal" may be the only real instance of Cardassians capturing a single personnel from a ship on Star Trek, though that was a smaller craft than 2E usually gives us. How do the Cardies nab someone off a Galaxy class? So while I'm fine with the Capture theme of the Cardassians, and the Assault portion of this card, more than half of it just doesn't jibe. Consequently, a 1.8.
STOCKABILITY: The Cardassians are the affiliation that can do the most with capturing, so a combination Assault-Maneuver Capture that results in capture is a good idea. At Cost 0, no less! Of course, there is still a lower-case "c" cost of 5 points from your total. Hmm, worth it? The trick may be to use this with Labor Camp, which scores 10 points for a captive. Net gain: 5 points. Or with Prison Compound, though here, you'll need more than one captive to absorb the point loss (multiple Compounds could be the answer, of course). For engagements, I wonder if you shouldn't just pay for the 3 counters for Standard Cardassian Procedure and get the +1 to Weapons to help you get that same captive. For combat, only 2 counters for Taken Prisoner, or instead, the Interrupt Arrest Order. Flexbility is nice and all, but it's hard to let go of points when that's what you need to win a game. Still, if tightly controling your counters, and using the extras for strong point-scoring cards... Let's say a 3.
TOTAL: 11.9 (59.5%) Are Necessary Evil cards so balanced as to mostly wind up in the average category?
#2142-At an Impasse, Event, Cost: 2 /NE/
-To play this event, you must command three [Rom] personnel. Plays in your core. No player may draw cards from his or her deck. (Players do not need to spend all their counters on their turns.) At the start of your next turn, remove this event from the game.
"Welcome to Galorndom Core, where no good deed goes unpunished."
PICTURE: Very, very blurry, with dusty grays eating up the image in many
places (like Geordi's chest and neck), and that's too bad because it's a really
nice set-up. The confrontation sitting down is unusual, and the Romulan's pose
is tense. There's some atmosphere in all the haze as well. So despite the
technical flaws, it still manages 3.2.
LORE: A lovely sardonic moment with the dry humor associated with STCCG (and this time, from a quote, no less). A strong 3.7.
TREK SENSE: An Impasse or kind of stand-off, it means well, but is unfortunately more thematic than anything else. The idea is that all players have guns drawn on each other (or that each has countered the other's moves), and the standing order is to not do anything. "Don't move!" "Don't go for that draw deck, or I'll shoot!" Yes, the draw deck is, in a sense, where your next move is coming from, but no more so than your hand, and all players are free to play cards from hand. Heck, attempt missions, engage in battle, etc. too! The Impasse is on the players' level, so really outside normal Trek Sense. And yet, you do need those 3 Romulans to play the card. Is this really a Romulan-only concept? Well, I'll buy it because the Rommies are really more paranoid and more calculating. Stopping the action like this would be one of their tricks. Ok, so after a turn, the Romulans let go of the stand-off (they've thought of something, or maneuvered themselves into a better position) and the Event is removed from the game. Is that to mean you can't use an Impasse again? That particular one has been "solved"? Finally, it's hard to evaluate the Cost because the effect occurs on a conceptual level. A 2 seems balanced because you're also affected, but the wide-ranging ramifications for the galaxy would point to more. In any case, this one's hard to justify in more ways than one, and so only a 1.
STOCKABILITY: Everyone needs to draw cards to replenish their hands, that's a fact, and indeed, counters left over after playing cards will be used for just that purpose. If your Romulans don't mind forfeiting any card draws that come their way, they might play At an Impasse to tie their opponents' hands. To be played on a turn where you wouldn't really have counters to spare, or just pay for it last. Your opponent might be stuck wasting counters (into the void of nothingness, or by playing more cards than she really wanted to), and then having to use a lot more counters on the next turn just to get her hand back up to snuff. Against certain decks, this will be more powerful, such as any that relies on card drawing mechanisms. In fact, this card stonewalls a good number of special abilities, as well as verb cards. Combine with Unseen Manipulations to force the top 2 cards of opponent's deck to be discarded (unless she's played a ship). Cost is pretty reasonable too. A minor effect, but one that can interact interestingly with other cards. No more than 3 times per game, however, since the destroyed Impasse goes out of play and cannot be recycled. A 3.4.
TOTAL: 11.3 (56.5%) Trek Sense proved to be the card's own impasse.
#2155-At What Cost?, Event, Cost: 0 /NE/
-Lose 5 points to spend 7 additional counters this turn. Destroy this event.
"Kirk, I thank you. What you have done is--" "What I have done, I had to do." "But at what cost? Your ship. Your son." "If I hadn't tried... the cost would have been my soul."
PICTURE: The context here is that it Cost a lot to bring Spock back from the dead, and the ones that paid that Cost are smiling. It was worth it. A sharp and clear group photo, constrasting well with the background (where we find Sarek, who's quoted in the lore). The warm scene gets a good enough 3.4, though the atmosphere it gives off may not seem appropriate.
LORE: Four lines from a conversation? Unprecedented and looks a little funky, but it was a good, worthy scene. It IS about cost (the title stems from it), but again, you have to have seen The Search for Spock to understand the context. Hits 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Counters are a concept that represents the energy required bring resources into play. Points, also a conceptual construct, represent achievements, the reaching of goals. Loss of points, then, are either cheats (reducing a goal's worth) or failures. How do we read this card within that context? Our heroes lose something of a value, but not represented by a card (a piece of their souls, for example, or their reputations), some kind of sacrifice, and in exchange, get resources they would not have otherwise been able to get. Using The Search for Spock as a model, we might say those counters were used to play the Enterprise after Starfleet refused to lend the ship to Kirk (the points represent the Admiral's career), or alternately, that the counters are used to play Spock (and the points are Kirk's son and ship, not present as cards). It's all happening under the table, so it can't step beyond the thematic. That the Event itself has no Cost is a mechanical conceit, since the "cost" is actually figured into the game text. The theme works, but there's little happening that's "real". A 2 is as high as it gets.
STOCKABILITY: I have a question about cards that deduct points from your total. If the game's goal is to score points, is any card's play worth the loss of those precious points? Not if you're cutting it close, but you can plan for such expenditures. For example, the missions you plan to complete may have a total upwards of 100 points. You have to complete these anyway, so if they would total 110 points, that's 10 points you can stand to spend some other way. While round-the-corner strategies could also supply these extras, they are usually used to supplement mission solving, which falls under the heading of "cutting it close". In exchange for those points, At What Cost offers up 7 extra counters, an impressive amount well above any card's Cost. With 14 counters in one turn, you can get a ship and staff it entirely. You can get 2 ships. You can build up your battle cards. Whatever. Hopefully, that gives you a turn's advance on getting cards out. You do need to have scored points already to lose them, so it's more difficult to use this to get your cards out quickly at the very start of the game. Balanced, but still flexible, it's value is all in how you spend your counters afterwards. A hard-to-gauge 4.1.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) That's the cost of balance.
#2168-B'Etor - Ambitious Renegade, Personnel, Klingon, Cost: 3, unique /NE/
-Klingon; Astrometrics, Leadership, Programming, Science, 2 Treachery; Command icon
-When you play this personnel, reveal cards from the top of your deck equal to the cost of an event in your core. Take each Treachery personnel revealed into your hand. Replace the remaining cards in the same order.
"I hope for your sake you are initiating a mating ritual."
-INTEGRITY: 2, CUNNING: 6, STRENGTH: 6
PICTURE: The movie version of B'Etor doesn't quite work for me. The image is real fuzzy, which somehow distorts her face, softening it, and it's hard to tell the foreground from the background elements (just made out the periscope, for example). A definitely "dirty" image, it gets a 2.3.
LORE: Not pulled from the moment depicted in the image, and barely related to her special ability. It just seems a bit lurid, and perhaps that's fine for the "prettier" of the sisters. A 2.8.
TREK SENSE: So the Sisters of Duras have long since lost their bid for control of the Klingon High Council, and they've just been playing mercenary in TNG, DS9 and Generations. B'Etor still commands a ship and crew (no Commander status though), so Leadership and the Command icon are part of her package, but not Officer? She's up to no good, so Treachery and low Integrity should be there too. As far as Klingons go, she's pretty dishonorable and ruthless, so this last skill is doubled. The Sisters' scientific and technical abilities have always been debatable, putting in their hands tasks they probably delegated. In this case, putting Soren's trilithium weapon to "good use" could explain the Science and Astrometrics, even Programming, but it's a little thin. Physics could have been part of the package using the same line of reasoning (especially since you can corroborate it the explosives from "Past Prologue"), but it's not there. I'm not a huge fan of this skill package no matter what episode or film I watch. The special ability has a relationship to Soren, at least, and even to other mercenary elements they've associated with. When B'Etor reports, other Treacherous elements (Klingon or not) may well be near (her crew, for the most immediate example). The top of the deck is close, but the hand is closer. The mechanics by which these cards go into hand are just that: mechanics. But while it seems artificial and convoluted, the number of cards examined are based on the "worth" of an Event in play, perhaps the Event that draws B'Etor into the fold. It's the examination itself that has no Trek Sense basis. Attributes? They hit their marks. B'Etor is a low-life, but fairly Cunning. As the softer of the Sisters, she gets an above average 6 for Strength, a point below Lursa's. The Cost represents well a still influencial element of Klingon aristocracy, I think, but shouldn't both "Ambitious Renegades" cost the same? They don't, but if I agree with B'Etor's Cost, I'll have to argue with Lursa's when the time comes. Under par at 2.2 (a question of skills, mostly).
STOCKABILITY: Honor decks are much stronger than other types for the Klingons, but B'Etor tries to rehabilitate the Treachery side of things, by getting the personnel with Treachery at a small discount, i.e. you don't have to pay to draw the card. Depending on the Event you're keying off of, you might also get the Treachery personnel as far as 5 cards down. If Lursa/Sister of Duras comes into play later, you can further download another Treachery personnel. (The reverse can be done if you use B'Etor/Sister of Duras instead, but you really only need one of the "Sisters of Duras" for that.) There ARE missions for Treacherous Klingons, mind you, like Archanis Dispute, Cargo Rendezvous, etc., but even if you don't entirely go that route, B'Etor has a number of other skills: a quite capable Science package with added Leadership for some battle cards. The 2 Treachery is helpful against many dilemmas. Attributes are ok, but Integrity is terrible. The Cost covers all those skills and the one-shot special ability, which won't do you a lot of good in non-Treachery decks. She's better than the Sister of Duras version, but if you're going to keep one Sister of Duras for the Treachery download, I think Lursa/Ambitious Renegade has the better "get into hand" ability. Squeezing thie B'Etor out in favor of the Premiere version, I'm still going to give her 3.4 - the same as the other B'Etor, but for different reasons.
TOTAL: 10.7 (53.5%) To Sister of Duras' 70.5%.
#2182-B'Etor - Romulan Conspirator, Personnel, Romulan, Cost: 2, unique /NE/
-Klingon; Diplomacy, Physics, Programming, Science, 2 Treachery; Command icon
-When this personnel is about to be stopped by a dilemma, you may unstop a stopped [Rom] personnel present. That personnel joins this mission attempt.
"We don't want you to judge us by our experience with our brother."
-INTEGRITY: 2, CUNNING: 6, STRENGTH: 6
PICTURE: Oh, that sexy black lipstick... This pic of B'Etor is the clearest
we have in 2E (of three versions), a sharp close-up that works, though it
doesn't give her much power. She looks caught in a trap (those Romulans are
tricksy). The reddish hues look good surrounded by a green template. A 3.3.
LORE: A self-serving lie to hide the fact she and Lursa are exactly like their brother. Kind of funny, really. A 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Since the Sisters worked with the Romulans against their own sovereign government, Romulan versions of them aren't a leap. Diplomacy is a function of her seduction skills as much as political maneuvering, but both are on display in "Redemption". Programming allows for secret communication with Romulan puppetmasters. The double dose of Treachery gives her incentive to betray the Klingon Empire for her personal gain. Physics and Science is part of B'Etor's frequent (not to say usual) skill package, the one I often have trouble with. The kind of shenanigans the Sisters get up to later might suppose familiarity with explosives, trilithium, etc., but evidence is inconclusive, especially when it comes to the deal with the Romulans. Though she has political clout still at this point, it's with the Klingon Houses, so as a Romulan, she shouldn't have Leadership (and doesn't). What about the Command icon? Well, that's more a function of staffing, though I wonder if the Romulans would allow her to command a warbird. Point is, she could, I suppose. The special ability requires some thought. She's about to be stopped, so she calls on a Romulan friend. That friend had been previously stopped with some other urgent business (most likely another dilemma). Maybe she gets stopped anyway, but that friend takes her place at the very least, or may actually bail her out. This is like the Sisters calling on Sela and her forces to help with the Klingon Civil War. On the thematic side depending on the mission, but interesting. Attributes are what they always are with B'Etor, with the low Treacherous Integrity, above average Cunning to carry out her schemes, and Strength fitting a "petite" Klingon woman. As for Cost, I should think that such a high-ranking mole would be yield a higher price. Well, maybe the Sisters are "easy marks", all too willing to trade masters to get ahead. Ends up on the plus side at 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: Five skills (or six, really), plus a special ability for 2 Cost? That's not bad at all, despite the low Integrity (which the Romulans should be used to by now). B'Etor offers the 2 Treachery found on a number of other Romulans, but nonetheless excellent for their mission list, and to pass Inside Collaborators and numerous other dilemmas. There's a good mix otherwise, with Science, Programming and Physics being supplemented by the off-type Diplomacy. Her special ability would work like this: She's about to get stopped by a dilemma, so you suspend play to unstop another Romulan, stopped by a prior dilemma. That Romulan may even have what it takes to overcome the present dilemma and not stop B'Etor. Even if that's not true, you at least replace the lost B'Etor with another personnel. It's not an uncommon occurence that personnel would be filtered out of a mission attempt, and this attrition could lead to that attempt's failure. Then again, you may be hit more by kills and captures, so B'Etor would not help you there. She also can't be stopped first if you're to use her ability. So watch out for Racial Tension. A cheap skill horse at least, she scores 3.7.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) Three B'Etors down, three Lursas to go.
#2196-B'omar Stipulations, Dilemma, space, Cost: 2, BC /NE/
-Unless you have Diplomacy and Cunning>30 or Leadership and Strength>30, all of your personnel are stopped and this dilemma returns to its owner's dilemma pile.
"While in our space, your vessel will not exceed warp three, and your weapons will remain off-line. You will avoid unnecessary scans, and you will not conduct surveys of any kind. You will make no attempt to explore our space. And you will avoid all communications with non-military craft."
PICTURE: Great dynamics on this card, though I've always found the B'omar
ships to look weird with their glowing hindquarters, and the angle here makes
Voyager's nacelle look like a fifth ship in the frame. But for all that, it
remains a dynamic pic, so an above average 3.1.
LORE: This lore is longer than most, and that's perfect! The unreasonable requests of the xenophobic B'omar are well rendered. I wouldn't have mentioned the species in the title so as to make the dilemma more generic, but it's not a great problem. A fun 3.5.
TREK SENSE: First, lets agree to say this is not meant to represent actual B'omar space, which is in the Delta Quadrant, but rather the same kinds of restrictive Stipulations to enter a mission card's represented space. That said, we also must assume the crew will defy those Stipulations if they are to attempt a mission there. Ok, the table is set. There are two ways to defy the "B'omar", one is through Cunning, with your Diplomat either keeping them busy or actually negotiating passage. The other is through a show of force, with Leadership rallying the troops to go into hostile territory, or possibly just acting as battle-initiator. If those requirements aren't available, the crew is stopped and the B'omar aren't going anywhere (well, they are, but that's a standing issue I have with the dilemma pile). A Danger Factor of 2 is fine for this kind of thing, but the whole story can't be told through this card, so it stays at a still-acceptable 3.4.
1E TREK SENSE: In 1E, the dilemma's staying power is restored, though I find
that the lack of a "whole story" is more heavily felt here. See,
travel in 1E is actually THROUGH intervening locations on a spaceline, so the
"B'omar" could have a little more effect on that spaceline. I'd say
3.4 still fits.
STOCKABILITY: Diplomacy and Leadership are pretty common skills, and more than 30 of one of two attributes is less than would be required from the mission itself. Cost comes out to about the right number then, if it is stands to stop an entire crew and return to the dilemma pile. The dose of attributes does mean the dilemma can't be passed by a small posse of personnel looking to simply overcome dilemmas before the real team arrives. And it doesn't mean another dilemma can't be played first to hurt the attempt, such as a large number of Diplomacy/Leadership dilemmas followed by Overwhelmed, or perhaps The Clown: Bitter Medicine, which lowers attributes. That it is easy for a large enough team to overcome is what keeps it a 3.4.
1E STOCKABILITY: With attributes being generally higher, I'm afraid this
dilemma won't be much of a wall. It's a poor man's Shaka, really. Affiliations
high in STRENGTH, for example, might need fewer than 4 personnel to pass the
requirement. And the CUNNING option? Few personnel have less than 6 CUNNING in
2E. This is not a resistant wall. Only a 2.
TOTAL: 13.4 (67%) Not much of a border.
1E TOTAL: 12 (60%) Even less so here, and it doesn't even count as a card for the Voyager environment.
#2210-Back Room Dealings, Dilemma, planet/space, Cost: 2, BC /NE/
-Choose a personnel who has Treachery or Integrity>4 to be stopped. If you cannot, randomly select a personnel to be killed.
"Watch your tongue, Cardassian, or I'll rip it out and eat it. ...We have no time for your games!"
PICTURE: A gray and brown color palette and the fact that B'Etor does not look like herself (it's like Gowron in drag or something) hurts the card, though there is some redemption to be had from the crowded composition, representing the Back Room. Lursa's bright shoulder pad is distracting, however. A very plain 2.4.
LORE: The Klingon threat is a fun one to throw at a talkative Cardassian. Puts the danger in what would otherwise be a simple meeting behind closed doors. A 3.4.
TREK SENSE: I'm guessing by the choice of a single personnel, that you're playing Garak's side of the conversation. So okay, your crew meets a couple of disreputable types in a Back Room (stopping that personnel). If said Character is a low-life who can actually do something for these bad guys (probably betray your other personnel's confidence or trust, etc.), then that's all that happens. If the personnel has a little more Integrity than that, the bad guys kill him or her for wasting their time (they went to a random person that time). It's an elegant dilemma, and I love how, once again, 2E makes Treachery personnel untrustworthy in style. I'm less enchanted by the Danger Factor, which could have been higher given the situation presented (though it's fine mechanically), and with the space/planet icon. Seems to me that this shouldn't happen as easily on a ship. Despite all this, the card still gets a great 3.9.
1E TREK SENSE: Cost no longer being an issue brings the score up to 4.
STOCKABILITY: At 2E's offset, Treachery quickly became the skill to have to pass dilemmas and trigger effects. So they had to curtail it a little bit. Back Room Dealings is a reasonably-priced dilemma to play before a Treachery dilemma to weed out one Treachery personnel, though your opponent may just avoid doing so by selecting a personnel with low Integrity instead. That's if one exists, of course, and many have Treachery anyway. And if they don't have any "evil" personnel? Even better, as a random personnel is killed instead. The Feds certainly aren't immune to this. While Treachery-using players will probably stop the least important of their personnel, the random death may be less merciful. A Cost 2 dilemma that always hits (as a filter or killer)? That's a good 4.
1E STOCKABILITY: In a combo with In the Pale Moonlight, this should be pretty hard on the Feds. And if the Feds couldn't even pass In the Pale Moonlight in the first place? It's even worse. It's the same with any deck low on Treachery (like Honor decks), though there are a lot more Treacherous/low-INTEGRITY affiliations than there are Honorable ones. And fewer Treachery-related dilemmas in 1E. This is still a sure-hit, but less potent in this environment. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 13.7 (68.5%) Not that far at the back of the pack.
1E TOTAL: 13.6 (68%) Realities of 1E change the score, but not by much.
#2223-Bareil Antos - Opaka's Protector, Personnel, Bajoran, Cost: 4, unique /NE/
-Bajoran; Anthropology, Diplomacy, 2 Honor, Leadership, Programming
-Vedek; Order: Stop this personnel to download a card, then place that card in your discard pile.
"I could never replace Opaka. Bajor wouldn't have survived the occupation without her."
-INTEGRITY: 8, CUNNING: 6, STRENGTH: 5
PICTURE: The close-up tries to peer right into Bareil's soul, and the sickly green colors and creepy lighting tell us that everything's not right with the world. The expression is perfect to show someone resigned to a "necessary evil". Quite strong at 4.5.
LORE: The words pay hommage to the great Kai, "protecting" her reputation and hiding just how she managed it (by sacrificing her own son). It's good enough for a 3.4.
TREK SENSE: Based on events from "The Collaborator", this version of Bareil is still a Vedek with Leadership (being considered for the position of Kai) and 2 Honor (he sacrificed his career and allowed Winn to become Kai to protect Opaka's name). Diplomacy isn't as important as on the main version, dropping to x1. After all, he couldn't talk himself out of this quandary, protecting Opaka AND becoming Kai . He still has the Anthropology which gives him access to all the Prophecies and Bajoran rituals. New here is Programming, which he used to hide documents that revealed Opaka's collaboration. Biology/Science, which were gardening tools, are out, which is fine by me as they always seemed exaggerations. Cost has dropped to 4, as he's still an important man, but not as important as we once thought (no Kai for you!). Attributes remain the same, as per 2E's tradition, with the Integrity to go with 2 Honor, the wise enough Cunning, and the fit Strength of a springball player (though you might find it high as a combat stat for this pacifist). The special ability is on the mechanical side, but at least it's thematic as well. Bareil does with a card what he did with the documents proving Opaka was a collaborator - he gets hold of it before it comes out, and he quickly buries it. Since cards don't really equate with information, he might as well be murdering personnel before they report, so we'll leave it at the thematic level. It's actually not a bad idea, and the rest of the card is more credible than Esteemed Vedek. But with that special ability, we're stuck at 3.8 (still great!).
STOCKABILITY: Bajorans have access to a number of effects that key off cards in the discard pile, so a personnel card that can download any card to the discard pile has to be useful. It can help you pull off Accepting the Past, for example, and get a downloaded personnel to your hand or play with Invocation of Kosst Amojan, Peldar Joi, Steeled by Loss, Text of the Kosst Amojan and The Prophet's Guidance. Getting a personnel to the discard pile can also supplement your skills and attributes in play, as through Ties of Blood and Water and Vision of Violence. As far as personnel go, the Bajorans have a number that could be helped by Bareil's special ability, like Borum, Anjohl, Kira Meru, Kira Nerys/Reformed Collaborator, Kulan, Curzon Odo, Porta, and lots more. Being specific about what goes in the discard pile is definitely a help. When Bareil isn't stopped doing this, he's got a very nice bunch of useful skills and high attributes. Anthropology works with Days of Atonement in addition to its mission solving uses, and Lasting Peace is keyed to his Diplomacy. The 2 Honor will get through Bleeding to Death. Being a Vedek is also useful, getting extra points if with Solbor, and use of The Prophet's Guidance if with another Vedek. The other Bareil was red hot with its Integrity boost, but this one costs 1 counter less (still pricey, but worth it), and though Biology/Science are gone (plus 1 Diplomacy), Programming is useful too. Good at focusing your discard pile manipulation strategies, I say he's worth a good 4.2.
TOTAL: 15.9 (79.5%) The dark stain on his soul doesn't drop his score too much.
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