Siskoid's Rolodex...................Premiere

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Premiere set.
Some of the cards have been corrected in the Beta Set.

#1-Albert Einstein, Personnel, Federation, holographic, universal
"Re-creation of the famed 20th century human. Author of the theory or relativity."
-SCIENCE, Physics x2, Astrophysics

PICTURE: It's a pretty good likeness, as far as these things go. The cool thing though, is that he's playing the ST: CCG!  So mostly for the Easter Egg... I give the pic a 4.

LORE: Here's where it gets iffy. "Author of the theory of relativity"? That's it? Pretty dull. (And ever notice how Star Trek blatantly flies in the face of said theory? Albert can't get no respect.) No more than a 1.2.

TREK SENSE: How does the card compare to the actual Einstein? Pretty well, actually. His skills are spot on, and so are his attributes. (What, Data's smarter than him? Well, faster let's say.) A 4.

STOCKABILITY: Very stockable. Einstein makes a good Space mission solver with somewhat rare skills. Plus, you can have plenty of him around and since you're only going after Space missions, no need to keep Holo-Projectors handy. Something like a 3.5.

TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) A passing grade. Would have been higher if the lore had been better. Unfortunate that many of the Premiere universals lack a lot of color.

#7-Alexander Rozhenko, Personnel, Federation
"¾ Klingon, ¼ Human male. Born on the 43rd day of Maktag. Son of Lieutenant Worf and K'Ehleyr."
-CIVILIAN, Honor, Youth

PICTURE: We could easily have gotten a pic of Alexander being bratty, but no, we get this wonderfully revealing image of the Son of Worf holding a ritual knife. The shadow of the knife splits his face in two, the human and Klingon parts of his heritage. Furthermore, the image is taken from a pivotal moment in Alex's young life, when he has to choose between his two sides by either killing his cripled father (Klingon) or letting him live (human). A 5 - we can only hope the adult (DS9) version will be as good.

LORE: Unfortunately, the lore is only workmanlike. We've got race and familial relationships (soon to be a card, mark my words, perhaps using an image of Sisko kissing Jake) and a bit of flavor. Ca'nt fault, but can't praise: 3.

TREK SENSE: Honor?!? I always thought the kid should have had half a Treachery, myself... but if Honor is the skill representing knowledge of Klingon tradition, it starts to make sense. The rest is pretty straightforward if unoriginal, but these are the days before special skills so... still à 4.5.

STOCKABILITY: He used to be one of the few Federation CIVILIANs, but there are a LOT of Non-Aligned in that category anyway. He's also one of the few Federation Klingons, so you can always have him die an honorable death, etc. But still, besides sending him to Risa (not a place for kids, I think), he doesn't see much use. And as a bonus to K'mtar, I'm afraid that's not an oft seen strategy. It needs a Treaty for one. Sorry Alex, I give you about a 2.8.

TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) High marks design-wise, but low ones game-wise gives a pretty good pole position to Alexander.

#13-Alidar Jarok, Personnel, Romulan
"Conscientious admiral who questioned Romulan policy. Eventually stole a scout ship and defected to the Federation in 2366."
-OFFICER, Navigation, Leadership, Command icon

PICTURE: A fair picture of one of the only Romulans with a first name, it's interesting in that his side-long gaze and slimy smile make us wary of him. We're not sure he can be trusted - just like the crew of the Enterprise throughout the episode. A 4.5.

LORE: The lore is fine and tells the story quite well. A 3.

TREK SENSE: Here's where it gets rocky. I don't dispute Jarok's skills, not at all. His ATTRIBUTES however, are another matter. 2 Integrity? Let's look at it from a rules lawyer's perspective: Your honor! He betrayed his people, so his Integrity is low within the context of HIS culture! But that doesn't wash. There are plenty of loyal Romulan citizens with low Integrity. It's never usually in cultural context, it's a mark of who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. And Alidar Jarok is essentially a good guy who felt his government was acting irresponsibly or dishonorably. His Integrity should definitely have been higher. He shouldn't have to be Firestorm fodder. Because of this, a drop to 2.2.

STOCKABILITY: Not very stockable. Too many skills to be a mission specialist, too few to be of any real use. There are plenty of Rommies that are matching commanders and have a large selection of skills. Alidar gets left behind... a 2.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) It's too bad really. One of the more interesting Romulans of the past ten years doesn't measure up game-wise.

#19-Alien Abduction, Dilemma, planet
"Solanagen-based aliens, existing in a subspace domain, can access our universe and abduct humanoids for study."
-Most CUNNING Away Team member is held captive by aliens until mission completed OR 3 Leadership present.

PICTURE: As good as the special effect that spawned it, slightly surreal. It's a cool pic, but Riker looks odd. (It was like this on the show as well.) A 4.

LORE: A nice general approach to the dilemma, clearly stating the type of abduction meant here - that's gonna be trouble when we discuss Trek Sense, but it's okay here. Crisp and to the point, a 4 also.

TREK SENSE: Here's where it loses some points. The lore and picture specifically refer to Solanagen aliens conducting the abductions. The card clearly does not refer to any old kidnapping. Yet, it's a planetary dilemma, whereas the episode happened in space. There is also no evidence that the Solanagens where taking especially intelligent members of the crew (they might even have avoided them). The requirements are iffy also: it could be reasoned that leaders would discuss more readily their abduction experiences and find the permanent captive. Or, that in the course of solving the mission, the missing crewmember is found. The requirements actually work if you're talking about kidnapping by aliens native to whatever planet you're on, but here... not so much. A dismal 1.

SEEDABILITY: It's one of the few reasons to stock Leadership and can actually work pretty well. I once had my only Leader stuck under the mission with the required skills to complete it. Double whamy! Never got him out either. Of course, Leadership isn't all that uncommon. A 3.

TOTAL: 12 (60%) A passing grade which could have been higher had Trek Sense prevailed.

#26-Alien Groupie, Interrupt
"Lanel, a Malcorian nurse, agreed to help Commander William T. Riker, but only if he would..."
-Plays on any Away Team which has just completed a planet mission. Female groupie delays beam up of one male (random selection) for one full turn.

PICTURE: A headshot that suggests nothing. It's just Bebe Newirth on the plainest of backgrounds. A 1.5 (for its star power).

LORE: Cute. Too specific to a certain case (how does it affect other away teams on other planets?), but the unfinished sentence is delightful. It has the taste and doigté missing from Tasha Yar's crass "proved Data multifunctional" comment. We don't know if Riker ever succumbed to Lanel's charms, so the open-ended ending is appropriate. A 4.5.

TREK SENSE: Makes sense. A male falls for a groupie and tells his away team that he'll "be right up". Even high Integrity (or married!) men would have their hands full rejecting the lovelorn alien. A 4.5.

STOCKABILITY: When this came out, it was an immediate candidate for binder fodder. Now, it's got SOME use. Simply Jamaharon the guy to Risa and get him with some capture strategy (Dixon Hill's Card anyone?). But not many people are going to stock so many cards on the chance that the Groupie's random selection will be a good one. A 2.

TOTAL: 12.5 (67.5%) A card that does well in the lore and trek sense departments, but is pretty lame otherwise.

#33-Alien Parasites, Dilemma, planet
"Intelligent parasites enter and take control of a humanoid. Their presence can be detected by a gill like protrusion on the back of a host's neck."
-Unless INTEGRITY>32, Away Team infected. They beam back and opponent immediately controls ship and crew until "stopped". Then turn resumes.

PICTURE: Laughable. The parasite's got little bitty arms and a little bitty head and it's soooooooo pink... It's silly, that's what it is, and it has a distracting background. 2.7.

LORE: Good explanation of the facts and doesn't fail to mention the "gills" which might link this card to other "Bluegills" (as hinted at on Alas, Poor Queen). A 4.

TREK SENSE: First, this could just as easily been a space/planet dilemma. It can be justified that this represents INITIAL infection on the home planet. But since infection doesn't continue beyond that first ship (in effect, the Parasites just go away before the turn even ends), that can't be too credible. Secondly, why does Integrity figure in the equation? The officers infected on the show were by all accounts respectable and honorable men and women. Cunning or even Strength (since the hosts are inhumanly strong and have tried to force a parasite on someone) might have been better. Third, common sense and logic find fault with the card. The best way for this dilemma to hit is if a redshirt gets infected and beams back aboard infecting the entire crew. So if I understand this right, a big away team (full of Integrity) will avoid infection, but a large crew (full of Integrity) won't. That one host is pretty fast at assimilating the others! Hopefully, the "Bluegills" will be better. A big fat 0.5.

SEEDABILITY: It's a risky dilemma to use, but fun if you've prepared for it. I especially like to stock Auto-Destructs so I can blow up the ship as soon as it's taken over. Other things you can do is attack other ships or strand personnel across the spaceline costing your opponent some time (stunt only works if Range isn't exhausted). Unfortunately, it's mostly good against redshirting or small away teams (nice after a few filters). Super-away teams (the Feds only need about 5 personnel to pass it) go through unharmed. A mix: 3.8.

TOTAL: 11 (55%) Trek sense kills this campy favorite.

#40-Alien Probe, Event
"Space probes of unknown origin are frequently encountered by starships. Often such probes seek information or contact."
-Plays on table. Both players continue the game with their hands (cards) exposed, face up on the table.

PICTURE: Very nice. Where have we seen a probe with those nice glowing cracks before? In Star Trek IV, on the whale probe ball. So were the Cytherians responsible for that one too? Who knows? But in any case, it's a nice pic and a shiny lighter. ;-) (A 3.7.)

LORE: I'm not sure the lore is true. Probes of unknown origin are often encoutered? Just how many unknown civilizations capable of this kind of thing are there? The hyperbole lowers the "lore score" to 3.

TREK SENSE: Little. Conceptually, each player (affiliation or group of affiliations if playing with treaties) sends a probe out to the other. That probe effectively spies on the opponent's plans (hand). This could have been an effect for an observatory (like the one in the very same show, seen on Repair Mission), but an ALIEN probe? Your mom in the kitchen should be aware of your hand, not your opponent! Plus the mirror effect makes no Trek Sense. A 1.

STOCKABILITY: Few people play with it I dare say. You can combine it with Telepathic Alien Kidnappers for maximum (and abusive, but now legal) effect. Since it also affects you, most players prefer to leave the probe at home. A 2.3.

TOTAL: 10 (50%) Played more between the release of Premiere and ban on the AP/TAK combo, now it's largely forgotten even though AP/TAK is legal thanks to Countermanda.

#47-Alynna Nechayev, Personnel, Federation
"Vice-Admiral Alynna Nechayev is an antagonistic superior of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Responsible for liaison with the Cardassians and the Maquis."
-OFFICER, Diplomacy, Leadership, Command icon

PICTURE: Classic headshot, but then, she's little more than a talking head on the show. The expression pictured is one of self-righteous disbelief - a great snapshot of her usual attitude. Better than average: 3.6.

LORE: The lore gives her one ability - she can be downloaded with Going to the Top (but see Stockability). The rest mentions her rivalry with Picard and her role in dealing with the Maquis. Not bad, but not great - a 3.

TREK SENSE: Diplomacy??? She has about as much tact as a photon torpedo. I guess she has the skill (Maquis liaison), but not the attitude. Leadership is standard for top brass (though other command personnel often go against her). Other than that, her Integrity seems a bit high (she'a always on the wrong moral side of any argument) and nothing was done with the Maquis connection (of course, we didn't see Maquis before the DS9 expansion)... Score 2.

STOCKABILITY: Even if you can dowload her with Going to the Top now, why would you want to? These 2-skill Personnel are the worst. They just don't have enough skills to be worth inclusion, and they have too many to be a mission specialist. Worse, Nechayev has the most common of Federation skills - OFFICER, Diplomacy and Leadership. Yuck. A 1.1.

TOTAL: 9.7 (48.5%) Binder fodder with a rather plain design. About as welcome in a deck as she is in Picard's office.

#54-Alyssa Ogawa, Personnel, Federation
"Nurse Alyssa Ogawa is a medical assistant and friend to Dr. Beverly Crusher."
-MEDICAL, Biology, Staff icon

PICTURE: The big smile speaks of a younger more naive Alyssa, but doesn't make for a dramatic picture. In fact, it looks like she has a tiny body for the size of her head. Must be the hair. A 2.5.

LORE: Oof! Nothing here! For a semi-regular character on the show, there should have been more here, no? A 1.

TREK SENSE: A Medical with Biology. Can't prove otherwise. Uninspired to the max. A 2.9

STOCKABILITY: As a mission specialist, she makes a fine addition to that type of deck. Of course, Federation Biology specialists can only help solve 3 missions (my choice would be Hunt for DNA Program, bring lotsa specialists) without Espionnage or Treaties. Stock her FC persona to switch to a more useful Ogawa once the specializin's done (if need be). Not the best mission specialist... a 3.

TOTAL: 9.4 (47%) In every way inferior to the FC version. Sigh.

#61-Amanda Rogers, Interrupt
"Female Q raised as a human on Earth. Was taken to the Q-continuum by Q after she could not resist the benevolent use of her powers."
-Nullifies any one Interrupt card just played (except Kevin Uxbridge or another Amanda Rogers) OR any one artifact just played as an Interrupt card.

PICTURE: Olivia D'abo has looked better. Here, she's ragtag, slightly disheveled and in attire too plain. A 2.1.

LORE: Certainly tells the story and hints at Amanda's function in the game. She is "benevolent". A solid 3.

TREK SENSE: A Q certainly has the power to nullify any effect the game can come up with. Of course, Amanda should be able to nullify more than just Interrupts, but we can't have a total godhood card that let's you disrupt everything. She gets Interrupts because the Q-Continuum wouldn't let her disrupt anything more long-lasting (like Events). She nullifies a quick Interrupt just before the Q reign her in. From other Amanda cards, we know she tends to be benevolent and limits abusive strategies. Odd that she is now abusive herself (hence the need for The Line Must Be Drawn Here). Not all Interrupts are "evil" though... a pretty good 3.6 (too generic for more).

STOCKABILITY: Where being too general makes her lose points on Trek Sense, it makes her win some on stockability. Who doesn't have an Amanda Rogers or two in their deck? Those who play against opponents with no Interrupts, that's who. Any of those out there? Amanda is so versatile, she can both defend (kill a field trip through a wormhole or cancel a brain drain) AND attack (stop the Borg from adapting, for example). You always have to fear from TLMBDH, but that's all metagame most of the time and not everyone will stock multiple copies of that punishment Event. A 4.3.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) A better picture would greatly enhance this staple of the premiere set.

#68-Amarie, Personnel, Non-Aligned
"Four-armed pianist. Information broker. Ex-wife of arms smuggler. Four times widowed. Qualor II lounge performer. Knows Aktuh and Melota. Salt sucker."

PICTURE: Everything that makes Amarie herself is present - the four hands, the sucksalt, the keyboards. The above-head perspective and lighting gives the card that lounge flavor it should go for. A 4.1.

LORE: A lot of detail (she sounds like a bridge crew member), but no complete sentences. A 2.9 for this telegram.

TREK SENSE: She's a non-aligned civilian all right. Too bad they couldn't give her Music x2 (twice the arms... and she seemed more than competent). Not much to say... a 3.

STOCKABILITY: Even as a mission specialist, she's really only good for two things - Risa Shore Leave (a female musician +5 points) and solving Qualor II Rendezvous all by her lonesome. Once that's done... well, at least she's got high Cunning. A 2.9.

TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) Often included in my decks just for fun, but I don't expect tournament players to do the same ;-).

#75-Anaphasic Organism, Dilemma, planet
"A male non-corporeal life-form that lives inside a female host which he enchants, as in the case of Dr. Beverly Crusher's late grandmother."
-If Female(s) in Away Team, the one with highest total attribute numbers resigns (is discarded), unless SECURITY and MEDICAL present. Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: Pretty good. The wide open green eyes are sufficiently spooky, while the purple shades are appropriate to a gothic atmosphere. Would get a higher score from if they hadn't shown us the effect an anaphasic organism has on someone, but rather the organism itself, in this case, Ronin. A 3.

LORE: The lore sort of tells us why Felisa Howard is on the picture, but it still reads weird: "A male..." No real gripe, so I'll give it a 3 as well.

TREK SENSE: Very close to the actual episode. The Organism targets a female to make fall in love with him, usually the most vibrant one available (represented by high attributes numbers). To pass requires Security to restrain the female in question and Medical to disgnose her with Anaphasic possession. Have I got it right? A cool 4.8.

SEEDABILITY: A good part of any Matriarchal Society combo, it eliminates one female before it hits that particular wall. And while this can be debilitating with male-centric affiliations like the Klingons and Dominion, the requirements are real easy to pass. Few people send their away teams in without SEC and MED. These are altogether too important! Note that the Dominion could be caught with its gelatinous pants down since they have fewer MEDICALs than anyone else, and not many females to boot. A risk to seed, a 3.1.

TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Better than I would have imagined, I really should use it more. Problem is, I always mistake it for Hyper-Aging which I NEVER use. ;-)

#82-Ancient Computer, Dilemma, space
"Vital information can be retrieved from old or damaged computer systems like this one aboard a derelict Promellian battlecruiser."
-Cannot get past unless 2 Computer Skill OR 3 SCIENCE OR 3 ENGINEER present.

PICTURE: Though the composition is all over the place, I can't help but like the picture here. For me, it's the tiny round screen with the green face in it. It's a welcome splash of color. Data's hands don't do much for me however. A thin 2.9.

LORE: "Like this one," it says. One of the few lores to point a finger directly at its card's pic, oddly enough. Kind of plain and uninspired... a 2.8.

TREK SENSE: The mission is apparently not attemptable without some information stored in the old computer files. First, there's no reason why this couldn't be a problem on planets as well, except that Premiere seemed to have a hard time filling up its space dilemma slots. Obviously a skilled computer technician will get to the ancient archives, as will a team of Engineers or Scientists. These are all technical positions aboard a ship, and I'm sure they're using all their skills, both technological and archeological, to solve the puzzle. Works, but isn't much to think about. A fair 3.5.

SEEDABILITY: Too many ways of passing it make it risky to use. Sure, not every crew will have 3 Engineers or 3 Science (but these are rare), but Computer Skill x2 will be pretty easy to muster. The problem with space walls is that you always encounter them with a full crew, so you're never caught with your redpants (as opposed to redshirts) down. And if you're unready for the wall, all it does is stop you. You can always get more personnel at a nearby outpost. So when the requirements are easy to get... the dilemma is just useless cardboard. No more than a 1.3.

TOTAL: 10.5 (52.5%) Does pretty well considering, but is still pretty much binder fodder.

#89-Anti-Time Anomaly, Event
"Q-created phenomena. Rift caused by anti-time particles in the future. Anomaly grows backward through time endangering all life in the past."
-Plays on table. Kills literally ALL personnel on table (both players' cards) at the end of your third full turn, unless anti-time anomaly destroyed first.

PICTURE: Perhaps an odd choice, but not a bad one. Instead of yet another bland gas cloud effect, the creators have chosen a shot of the anomaly's inside as seen from the bridge of the Enterprise. The past and future Enterprises are visible with one starting to explode. This puts the "Time Anomaly" in Anti-Time Anomaly, and is worth it just for the close-up of the FE. I'm not even sure the viewscreen frame is all that distracting either. A 4.

LORE: Quibles first - Q didn't create the phenomenon (why the plural on the card, by the way?), Picard did. Ok, Q created what we call the Anti-Time Future, Past and Present, but not the anomaly itself. The rest of the lore explains it without the paradox becoming a headache. Not bad, but loses points on that first phrase: a 2.4.

TREK SENSE: Works and doesn't. For the purposes of this discussion, let's put the paradox aside. This paradox would state that once your personnel disappeared, they would never have made it to the table in the first place. Let's not go there. The logic of the card states that, in "virtual time" (the time within an episode or game, regardless of the time period in which the events take place), there is a delay between the appearance of the Anomaly and the erasure of all life in the universe. That's just like the episode states. Problem #1: why don't ships and facilities disappear too? Problem #2: why can personnel et al. be reported after the Anomaly has done its damage. Problem #3: why don't dilemmas with living components disappear as well. And Problem #4: if they are truly erased from history, shouldn't they be put out-of-play? Had this card been made in a later set, we would have found an AU or Q icon on there somewhere. Too bad Decipher jumped the gun a bit. On a related matter, there's Problem #5: shouldn't AU personnel be immune, just like they are from timeline disruption? So similar to the show, yet so far off... a 1.9.

STOCKABILITY: It has to be part of your strategy to include it, it's not a "whim" card. Slow decks stand to benefit the most (attention, Dominion players!) from the Event. There are so many ways to report personnel fast right now, what with HQs, Crew Reassignment, Space/Time Portal, not to forget Red Alert, that your opponent can be off and solving missions within very few turns of starting the game. As soon as he's got his personnel down on the table, zap'im with your Anomaly. Since it's still early in the game, it's probable his non-downloadable Kevin Uxbridge is still buried in his deck. You, of course, have kept all your personnel in your hand, ready to report on Red Alert when the Anti-Time is discarded. Or you could try a Persistence of Memory/Anti-Time Anomaly combo... good luck. Mostly reactive - a 2.8.

TOTAL: 11.1 (55.5%) Made your eyes go wide when you first saw it. Lost some of its spark after the first expansions came out. Such is life.

#96-Archer, Dilemma, planet
"Indigenous inhabitants, such as this Mintakan bowman, often attack an Away Team out of fear."
-Away Team member with highest total attribute numbers is shot and dies unless SECURITY and MEDICAL present. Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: The shaded oranges are appealing, the danger directed at the player... it's a nice image. The puffy sleaves almost ruin the effect though. A 3.3.

LORE: One of the rare instances of "this" particular instance of the dilemma, there's nothing wrong with it really. It's just odd to find a capitalized "Away Team" in the lore. This formulation is usually reserved for game text. A 2.8.

TREK SENSE: The archer (found as much on technologically advanced worlds as primitive ones apparently) targets the personnel with highest total attributes. In the show, this was Picard. Normally, the archer goes for the most obvious threat, high attribute androids and Jem'Hadar probably. This can be avoided if both Security (to protect your personnel) and Medical (to heal it) are present. Problem with this is on the logic level: If Security protects your personnel, why does it need healing? Vulcans frown on this dilemma and leave it with a 2.9.

SEEDABILITY: It's a middling planet dilemma which is pretty good IF it hits. The effect is great. Your opponent loses a high attribute personnel. Many of these are multi-skilled personnel, androids, Jem'Hadar or Infiltrating changelings. Great! Unfortunately, MEDICAL and SECURITY are classifications more in abundance than specific skills. No one leaves home without MEDICAL and while SECURITY is usually rarer (the Dominion will have the opposite problem), it's more and more in demand and thus easily found in Away teams. Place this dilemma in a good filtering combo, and it's got a chance to do some real damage though. A 3.7.

TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%)

#104-Armus-Skin of Evil, Dilemma, planet
"Malevolent being formed when the inhabitants of Vagra II rid themselves of all the evil they had inside."
-Kills one Away Team member (random selection). Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: Armus is his grotesque self on this card, but he's not all that scary. The warp nacelle in the background makes the dilemma more menacing, but the rest of the background... it looks like Vagra II is a planet out of The Original Series: scruffy plantlife, rocks and a pink-orange sky. This ain't no Armus-Sticky Situation as far as drama and picture quality go... a 2.

LORE: Before the WB revisions, the lore had "all the evil they have inside". Preposterous grammar. Decipher did well to change it. Unfortunately, the lore is still pretty dry and simple. Ho-hum: 2.7.

TREK SENSE: You can't argue with something this simple and clear-cut. Armus acts just like in the show: he irrevocably kills one personnel at random, apparently for kicks. I will argue with the dilemma's discard though. With no conditions, Armus has no staying power. He doesn't need to be overcome. Does that sound right? Good, but a little uninspired. A 3.5.

SEEDABILITY: It kills one random personnel. Period. It's a killer, but also a filter because since there are no conditions to be met, the mission attempt continues minus that one dead personnel. Simply because there's no way to avoid it (excepting Interphase Generator), it gets a score of 4.

TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) One of the building blocks of the game. Not fancy, but efficient.

#112-Asteroid Sanctuary, Interrupt
"Hoping to avoid detection by a Romulan Warbird, the USS Enterprise entered a giant asteroid cavern in 2370."
-Plays on any ship. If 2 Navigation aboard, hides ship to prevent any battle initiated against that ship for this turn.

PICTURE: The tiny ship is cute, but this card has always lacked drama for me. Maybe because it IS just a big piece of styrofoam with a tiny silverfish going into it. A more dramatic picture could have shown the Enterprise inside the dark rock, lights on. Unfortunate poor casting, though not without redeeming value... a 2.8.

LORE: Straight to the point, though no explanation of how these asteroids could exist at EVERY spaceline location. Another 2.8.

TREK SENSE: Like I just said under Lore, the basic premise of the card is a faulty one. First it presupposes that there is an asteroid field at every spaceline location. Even if I was ready to believe that, I just can't believe there would be a large one with a cave big enough for a ship in each one. It's quite ludicrous. That aside, let's look at the rest of the card. That you can hide from battles is perfectly normal. That you require a really good pilot aboard to make it inside unharmed is also quite sensical (though they might have added the option of using the Interphase Generator as a replacement for the Navigation). The duration is kind of short. I don't see why you couldn't hide indefinitely, especially if no opposing ship is present. It mimics the episode, sure, but not if your opponent is not present. I might even have had the Sanctuary nullified by a Long-Range Scan or something, putting some pep in a rarely used card. There's some good here - too bad it started off on the wrong foot. A 1.9.

STOCKABILITY: As battling becomes more and more important to the game, cards like this one will start to make a comeback. If you're deathly afraid of getting attacked (by the the Dominion, say), what are you going to do about it in your deck design? Include some hiding cards? Or include some ship attribute enhancers that will allow you to retaliate if any ship dares attack you? I'd say the latter, since those have more staying power and more uses. I'm not knocking Asteroid Sanctuary over its required 2 Navigation simply because that is readily available in most affiliations, often on a single personnel. And you could always hide from Eliminate Starship using this, but it only lasts one turn, so you better have a plan for when the Borg Cube blow up the rock around you. A measly 1.6.

TOTAL: 9.1 (45.5%) Maybe we should rename it Binder Sanctuary.

#120-Atmospheric Ionization, Event
"Charged particles in the atmosphere of planets which can disrupt transporter beams."
-Plays crosswise on any planet mission. Maximum of three personnel per turn can be beamed up or down at this location.

PICTURE: Yawn. Well, what did we expect for a card that only shows ionization? It's a pretty invisible phenomenon. OR if you believe the card, ions are sorta purple. A dull old 1.5.

LORE: Yawn. A quick concise description of the phenomenon and justification for its game text. It's all there, but it's no Shakespeare - a 2.5.

TREK SENSE: As the lore says, ionization in the atmosphere interferes with transporter beams. In effect, the transporter chief is trying like mad to get locks on the away team members, but is having a slow go of it. It's too bad Transporter Skill doesn't speed you up like it used to. That made a lot more sense and wasn't overpowered in my opinion, but that's not this card's fault. One question though: can atmospheric ionization just spring up all of a sudden? Cuz it's not seeded on a planet (except one)? I guess it can... an elegantly simple 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: While Transporter Skill has lost its special ability, there are more and more ways to land a ship, so anti-beaming cards aren't that powerful anymore (not to mention Pattern Enhancers). Not that Atmospheric Ionization ever was! While it can slow down an Away Team's assembling on a planet surface, or its coming back to the ship, that's all it really does. It won't affect redshirting, nor can it force an opponent to redshirt (so as to hit an anti-redshirt dilemma or Thine Own Self) since 3 personnel is over that limit. It won't affect Borg scouting either. You can use it as deterrent on missions you'd rather your opponent not go for, including your own if you've got Pattern Enhancers in play to protect you. In any case, your precious card play could be used for more important things. Botanical Research lets you seed it, so I expect to see more of the card, but mostly in the Starter Deck II environment. How's 2.3 sound?

TOTAL: 10.1 (50.5%) Some good points, but the card basicly gets lost in the fog.

#127-Auto-Destruct Sequence, Interrupt
"Computer controlled self-destruct countdown which can be set by the senior officers aboard a ship."
-Plays on one of your own ships. Ship self-destructs at the end of your turn. Explosion damages all other ships at same location which have SHIELDS<8.

PICTURE: What Red and Yellow Alert would have looked like had they ever actually appeared on a screen like this. The photography isn't very good, but I like the close-up that, much more than Red Alert, signals urgency. But wouldn't a shot of a ship exploding have been more exciting? Ah well... a 2.9.

LORE: Short, but to the point. It gives a good explanation of a simple concept. Can't fault it, but it's still no frills. A 3.2.

TREK SENSE: Well... let's look at the lore. The word "countdown" appears, but no such icon. (I know it didn't exist yet, but it doesn't matter.) That's no problem actually, since the countdown is usually so short that "at the end of your turn" is a large enough delay in game terms. Although you can play the card at the very end of your turn in which case no countdown really occurs, but again, not too bad. The lore also mentions, rightly enough, that senior officiers set it. Problem: you can play this on your empty ship. Of course, most ships (the large ones) are never really empty. They're full of faceless nameless crewmen. But they can't set an auto-destruct, can they? Especially when your bridge crew personnel have beamed down to a planet, the auto-destruct can still be initiated, hmmm. Also, I'm a bit skeptical about shuttles' auto-destruct systems. Do they actually have them? A number of ships don't seem to have any, including Gomtuu who could only kill itself with a supernova. That you can only play it on a ship you control is sensical, since it requires your access codes. That the explosion can harm ships with low shielding is also good common sense, but I'm not sure an exploding Phoenix can really do that much damage to a starship. When the anti-matter hits the fan, you don't want to be close enough to smell it. So, some good, some not so good... all in all, a 2.5.

STOCKABILITY: Using this on your opponent's ship is the real use here. Just get control of one through Alien Parasites or Neural Servo Device and blow it to smithereens, all hands lost. It's even better if you can fly it to where his other ships are, so as to inflict even more damage. Not all dilemma combos are made up uniquely of dilemmas, you know. Slide a good interrupt in there and you can take advantage of a dilemma's effects. Playing it on yourself is becoming more viable as well. Used to be, you could maybe sacrifice a shuttle to damage a less-shielded ship. In a space battle, this works well by damaging it with WEAPONS first, then letting your auto-destruct take care of the rest. Still, it had to be a ship with SHIELDS less than 8, and you couldn't consider that a kill (no bonus points from Latinum Payoff or for Borg ships). With infiltrators and intruders making their way into the game, it's now possible to get rid of them by emptying your ship on your turn, leaving your opponent's personnel inside to face a lonely death at the end of your turn. It costs you a ship, but it costs your opponent anywhere from a Founder to a whole Away Team. So it's a pretty good fall-back card as well. A 4.

TOTAL: 12.6 (63%) A favorite of mine and often included in my decks, but I also can see its faults.

#134-Avert Disaster, Mission, Federation, planet
Artrea: Aid project to delay solidification of planet's core.
-Geology + Honor + INTEGRITY>35
-Span: 3; 40 points

PICTURE: A nice little planet, quite distinguishable in the horde of planet missions, but unfortunately too pretty. It doesn't look like disaster's about to strike at all. Too pleasant (no clouds?)... a 2.9.

LORE: Well, official canon says the planet's name is Atrea, not Artrea. Mission lore is boring enough as it is without having to look at mistakes. (In Decipher's defense, reference books on TNG's last season, from which this mission was pulled, came out much later that the rest.) A paltry 1.9.

TREK SENSE: No problems with the following: it's a Federation planet mission with a medium span and high point value (hey, those people had to be grateful). The mission requirements are more obtuse. The Geology is fine. Necessary, in fact. But why all the Integrity requirements (as Honor is an Integrity-related "skill")? It's the Feds anyway, they wouldn't need an excuse to be decent and moral. Are Away Teams really going to go "oooh, it's too dangerous" and skip town? I doubt it. Other requirements should have been put in, with those listed staying (perhaps on opponent's side of the card) for Espionnage-using affiliations. I'll take the excuse that those skills are included to make the Away Team hang in there, through thick and thin, etc., but no one says I have to like it. Muddled. A 2.5.

SEEDABILITY: Not bad at all. 40 points is a lot, and the mission can't be stolen without an appropriate Espionnage card. Geology is no longer in short supply (there's even a matching mission specialist for it), Honor found on many of the big personnel, and the INTEGRITY no problem for the Federation. It makes for a juicy Borg target though (that's bad for the Feds, but good for the Borg who can include this thief-proof mission in their six seeded missions). Finally a good score: 4.

TOTAL: 11.3 (56.5%) A number of problems sink this otherwise okay mission.

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