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list for the Premiere set.
Some of the cards have been corrected in the Beta Set.
PICTURE: Though a plain enough model shot, there's a nice contrast between the red of the rust, and the green hull of the bird-of-prey. As we can see though, there's similarly colored tarnish all over that hull. Other colonies about the crop up, or the usual Klingon-red highlights? Seem to depend on the patch. A serviceable 3.2.
LORE: "Subatomic"? Those are mighty small microbes! That tidbit of technobabble is from the show, so we can't hold Decipher accountable, yet they could have omitted the word. In any case, there was room for more than the encyclopedia entry. A 2.5.
TREK SENSE: This thing damages a ship, that's clear. The requirements include Science (to identify and study the Colony), Engineer (to repair the damage done by the time the Colony is discovered), and an Officer... Officer? On the show, Mendon started things off without Picard's help, and aboard the bird-of-prey, Kargan didn't order any real studies (jumping to conclusions instead). Is the Officer Riker, or do we accept Picard's view that everything must flow through an Officer, i.e. that normally he would have ordered the study? Possibly. It seems so harmless at first that you would need an Officer's judgment to devote resources and time to it. The broad classifications are less satisfying than Exobiology or Biology would have been, but there you go. An ok 3.
SEEDABILITY: Classifications are more common than skills (everybody has one), but they are easier to weed out with dilemmas. SCIENCE can be targeted by Unscientific Method, for example, and yet, you're always playing a numbers game. There are usually too many of each classification in a crew to effectively filter all out. The Borg ARE at risk from this dilemma though, since they have few natural OFFICERs, even if the Queen can approximate the "skill". The possibility of damaging a Cube is always inviting. Of course, even if you're not initiating battles, a Battle Bridge side-deck will help applying more interesting damage than the regular damage rules allow. The sheer commonality of the requirements keep this one just below average at 2.9.
TOTAL: 11.6 (58%) Any germs on this card score 1 point more every turn ;-).
PICTURE: It's hard to show a virus because of its size, and in this case, there weren't any visuals of the effects, so they went with a screen shot. The good news is, it's a pretty one. The monitor's frame isn't distracting, and the graphics are colorful, detailed and distinct. You can even read some of the bigger text. Still rather small and fuzzy, but I've seen much worse. A lenient 3.2.
LORE: Simple and to the point. There was room for a little more context (perhaps about the Acamarian feud), but there you have it. The title might have been better, since a very small virus isn't necessarily DNA-specific, but no real flaws otherwise. A somewhat dull 2.9.
TREK SENSE: The 'virus does what it's supposed to do, and that's attack and kill a specific personnel (opponent's choice). How do you stop it? As per the show, partly through foreknowledge. You see, Riker was able to stop the transmission device (Yuta) because he knew about the virus. Medical identifies the virus, and Security gets the target out of harm's way. What if the target is the one providing the Security? Then he or she can defend themselves from it. Since an episode of the show revolved more or less around this dilemma, the points make sense. It's a goal in and of itself to prevent the death of the target. Not sure if it should be singly a planet mission though. Yuta tried to kill aboard a ship as I recall, and in fact, a virus can be brought aboard a ship. On the other hand, how does the transmitter get aboard, especially aboard some of the smaller ships, without a planet in the first place? Not all locations have an answer to that. Of course, the combo version of Microvirus (with Ancient Computer) makes it space/planet, so I'm not the only one disagreeing with the original design. It works well aside from that. A 3.5.
SEEDABILITY: MEDICAL and SECURITY are both classifications, so more common than any skill. Couple that with a 5-point bounty, and you have a dilemma that's better as a self-seed (watch out for Writ) than as a means to hurt your opponent. If something goes wrong during the attempt however, you could get someone of your opponent's choice killed. Low risk, but a risk nonetheless. Do you have enough MEDICAL and SECURITY hosers to get rid of the requirements before Microvirus hits? If you do, it's a sweet your-choice kind of kill. If not, it's 5 points for your opponent. Once again, Premiere has created a card that's only good for sealed deck formats. Oh, a 2.
TOTAL: 11.6 (58%) Same as Microbiotic Colony... is there something about microscopic dilemmas?
PICTURE: Aside from being a close-up in a first set mostly composed of bust shots, I can't say I like the Hulk colors, i.e. purple and green. The whole background is pretty shoddy in fact, and the Romulan turtleneck seems a bit oversized here too. I'd like the pic to tell us something about Mirok, but it really doesn't. A merely adequate 2.9.
LORE: Very brief, and again, doesn't tell us much. Can't go above 2.5 for this sentence.
TREK SENSE: Though the captain of a Science Vessel (the Apnex), I readily accept this guy as Science rather than Officer. These ships are small, and less militarily-minded than warbirds. The Staff icon is a little less palatable though, and if Dr. Crusher can get a Command icon, I think Mirok should too. As for skills, they work fairly well. The construction of the Interphase Generator and its integration into ship systems would require Engineer, and Physics is the relevant skill when dealing with molecular phasing. Astrophysics, I gather, is required for running a ship under phase cloak, so that an accident like the Pegasus' doesn't occur. The Integrity is low because he tried to cause a warp core breach on the Enterprise (averted by Geordi and Ro), but I'm really feeling the absence of Treachery here (thought it could be argued that Treachery is more proactive). The Cunning makes sense for a smart scientist. The Strength is a bit high though, even given the Romulans' superior physiques. The problems are just details, really, but they do take Mirok down to a 3.
STOCKABILITY: Three skills doesn't really cut it anymore, with fewer getting the use of Assign cards, and more being, well, more. Mirok does have an excellent dual-classification combo however, and skills the Romulans have plenty of use for (Mining Survey is especially applicable, especially if you want a Romulan Empok Nor). You could see him as a back-up to Telek R'Mor, for example. Attributes are pretty good too, with the Firestormable INTEGRITY being the real weakness. Too really put him on the map, he was eventually given matching commander status on a ship, the excellent Apnex, a small ship equipped with a Phase Cloak. Plaqued and Logged, the diminutive craft is 9-7-8 (reasonable), but since the Phase Cloak boosts RANGE by 4, I wouldn't bother with the Plaque. Mirok's ENGINEER makes the ship downloadable via Cronstruct Starship, and he can always come aboard it with Ready Room Door. This addition certainly makes the Apnex a worthy mission-solving ship, and its commander gets a nice 3.7 here.
TOTAL: 12.1 (60.5%) A squeaker.
PICTURE: Unimpressive to say the least. The gray background is pretty bad, how small and off-center Morag is too. The armor comes off as purple, and that futuristic coffee pot (or centerpiece, whatever), looks dinkier than a Dalek. A lame 2.
LORE: Yes... and what else? One of the worst uses of lore space in Premiere, they didn't mention much from his appearance (like all his ship's shennanigans). When "invented" universals get a full text, and a unique doesn't, you can't go any higher than, say, 1.
TREK SENSE: We know he was the commander (Command icon Officer) of a Klingon starship (unnamed). He stole data from the Relay Station, presumably thanks to Computer Skill, and motivated by Greed. No Treachery, and yet, it would seem to fit. Worse still, the Integrity is pretty high. It really shouldn't be. Didn't seem to be too smart or far-sighted, which could account for the low Cunning, but are we to believe the Federation can't protect its data from a Cunning 4 hacker? Doubtful. Strength is on par with similar Klingons. Overall, a poor effort (I hate to see uniques as support personnel), and so, just 1.5.
STOCKABILITY: A unique support personnel with a Command icon, for the best staffing, and high STRENGTH combined with OFFICER for passing Maglock. INTEGRITY's not bad either, but CUNNING is simply dreadful. And the skills? Computer Skill is always useful (many missions require it), but does appear on 2 other Klingon support personnel, usually with a more useful second skill. As for the Greed, it's far less useful, and Klingons doing their Honor thing won't really see the point. Greed is ok for some things, like a few Rules of Acquisition, Bribery and Latinum Payoff, but other Greedy Klingons have more skills to offer. Maybe as a good personnel for the 47th Rule? He isn't very well dressed. He isn't even the best Computer Skill/Greed personnel the Klingons have to use for Airlock. Not a complete wash, but in that bracket. A 1.9.
TOTAL: 6.4 (32%) The Klingons've hit a new low.
PICTURE: A stately pic for the good captain, and a thoughtful expression on him. Plus, it's certainly fun to see those uniforms in the strictly TNG-based Premiere. The colors aren't as sharp because of the 10-year-old printing process, but the green and purple highlights work to recreate the ambiance of a classic film bridge. A 3.4.
LORE: Matching commander status is attributed, and in this case, the dates don't bother me because it gives us an exact figure on the time stuck inside the causality loop. Otherwise though, there isn't much here (repeating his name doesn't help). Were the card made for one of the later expansions, we would no doubt have seen lots of Easter Eggs celebrating his roles as Frasier Crane and Sideshow Bob (like the Anthropology skill in the skill box). Missed opportunities, but still an ok effort at 3.
TREK SENSE: Well, we can't really argue with the skills. As a captain, Officer, Leadership and the Command icon are all more than plausible. Soyuz-class ships were mainly used for science missions, so his Stellar Cartography makes sense in that context. What was he doing out so far? Probably cataloguing gaseous anomalies or something. It's always a bit sad to see a ship captain now labeled as a support personnel, so I'll mention missed opportunities again. Now, I know he follows the same scheme as Montgommery Scott and James T. Kirk, but I disagree with the lack of a Classic Film icon. His ship was from that era, and he should be able to staff such ships. I'm not asking for an AU icon, since he moved to the present without actual time travel (the loop could be called temporal-assisted suspended animation), but a CF icon is sorely missing. On to the attributes. Well, the Integrity's ok, and we have no reason to go against it. He was on a peaceful mission, after all. The Cunning, however, is ridiculously low. Oh my! Never noticed he was in a time loop? Well, he didn't have Data. Befuddled by the 90-year difference in technology, society, etc.? Look at other temporally displaced personnel, and you'll see it isn't a real factor elsewhere. And I'll go ahead and contest the Strength as well, as he seems more rugged than that, and coming from a time when ship captains were often cowboys... Even J.T. Esteban has a Strength of 7! Dull and lacking foresight, this card is made even more disappointing by the attribution of wrong-headed stats. A low 1.8.
STOCKABILITY: The Federation has tons of Leadership support personnel, but no others with Stellar Cartography as their second skill. They have fewer Stellar Cartography support personnel, though still a good number, but usually in the SCIENCE category. That particular combo seems good at Explore Black Cluster, but is otherwise ordinary. What might save Bateson is that he is a matching commander for the USS Bozeman, but you'll really need to speed the ship up with Dedication Plaque, because at RANGE 5, it's nearly useless. Add Captain's Log to the mix, and the ship gets 7-11-10, or 7-13-12 against the Borg (including the Borg Ship dilemma). Still a bit slow, but somewhat worthy of a Borg-hunting deck (it needs more enhancements though). That Assign Support Personnel can report him to his ship in addition to Ready Room Door may come in handy, possibly downloading a replacement copy to the vessel if he ever dies. He's not a major player though, with few skills, two low attributes, and the command of a niche ship. Barely makes it to 3.1.
TOTAL: 11.3 (56.5%) Really needs an update.
PICTURE: The "other" Mot the Barber, not the original shown on In for a Trim (he IS the same as on Mot's Advice), he's got an amusing expression, and some barbering is going on behind him. Costume colors are terrible, but that's not Decipher's fault. A fun and better than average 3.4.
LORE: The jokiness starts with the title (after all, we don't have cards like "Jean-Luc Picard the Captain"... not really until 2E at any rate), but the lore is relatively tame. Fun character traits, but nothing too out of the ordinary. And there was room to spare. Another 3.4.
TREK SENSE: If Barbering is a skill, then yes, Mot should have it. It's his specialty even. And no problems with him being a Civilian either. Had he been made just a little later, a special download of Mot's Advice would have been in there for sure, but that's no big deal. Integrity shows a basically honest man, but one unburdened with courage or anything like that. Cunning is low, not that he's truly dumb, but is limited in experience, especially in the knowledge Star Trek episodes require of its protagonists. Mot's Advice has it right when it makes light of his opinions on matters beyond hairstyling. The middling Strength tells us he's untrained in fighting, but still a stocky man (armed with scissors). Absolutely no problems, but it's not like it's innovative beyond the joke skill itself. A 4.1.
STOCKABILITY: The original joke card, there's nothing like winning a game with Mot the Barber (certainly worthy of Parallax Arguers). I remember once using a strategy I got either from Mot's Useless Card Reviews or Wesley Crusher's Card of the Day (or a combination of both) that had me locking out my opponent with Distortion Fields and whatnot while Mot took a shuttle to a planet and chose to be stopped by Sarjenka. Final score: 5-0. Some stunt decks have Terraforming Stations turn various missions into hotbeds of Barbering (+5 points with Assign Mission Specialists), and Mot's Advice or Reflection Therapy giving the skill to various other personnel. Some just like having him out (using his attributes and classification perhaps) as a kind of cult figure. In for a Trim changed things a little. Now, Barbering has an actual use, and Mot the Barber is the only pure source of the skill. In for a Trim and just that single Mot and a Barber Pole (played for free) gives you a peek at the top card of opponent's deck with the possibility of discarding it if it is a verb card. Excellent, and it's even better to leave Mot safe at home than bring him on missions. He can be replaced by Mot's Advice, but thanks to AMS, may be out much earlier. You only have to worry about the Pole. Has risen to 3.7.
TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) Not just for sentimental value anymore.
PICTURE: Movar has an intense expression and some good mood lighting. Makes him covert and dangerous. A 3.4.
LORE: Mentioning he is a general is useful to the game, and his role is cleanly told, but it reads like just another of those Klingon Civil War lores, with the date at the end. No mention of Sela, or how he might have felt toward her (she gave orders to a general?). A simple 3.
TREK SENSE: I'll set down my usual objections to a high-up personnel (here, a general) being made into a support personnel, though he might not have seemed much more than that on the show, with Sela calling all the shots. That's why I don't care if he has no Leadership. Officer and the Command icon were still required, of course. Being part of a secret ploy, the same goes for Treachery. As for Anthropology, well, I guess it could be to help deal with the Klingons, a way to gauge their reactions and strategies (or even those of the Feds). Not dead-on, but ok. Given the Treachery, Integrity could have been a little lower, though this makes him a fairly loyal Romulan citizen, obeying Sela's orders even if he probably should have been bitter about the situation. Cunning and Strength follow species norms, but make him unremarkable. Much more could have been done with him, but what's there isn't too impeachable. A 3.2.
STOCKABILITY: Reporting him is easy, whether it's for free at the Office of the Proconsul, or aboard a ship (perhaps as a download) with Assign Support Personnel. But once reported, does he do you any real good? Well, he's a cheap General for Executive Authorization, where getting him with ASP will certainly be a good move if no one else can pass the dilemma. Skill-wise, Treachery is always useful in a Romulan deck, and Anthropology is less common (Tokath is the other support personnel that has it). The only mission for the Romulans with both skills is Historical Research, as Anthopology is most often linked with Honor than Treachery. Pretty humdrum, so just a 3.
TOTAL: 13.6 (68%) Kind of a yawner.
PICTURE: Though I like the green wall behind him (very Romulan), its light bleeds a little too much on him, creating that over-exposed patch in his hair. Otherwise competent, I'm giving it 2.9.
LORE: Fairly simple, and with room to spare, but being part of the underground carries a game perk, and the whole of it isn't badly written. A 3.
TREK SENSE: N'Vek was the Khazara's Science officer, well-pegged here. He was still high up (1st officer?), with enough clearance to keep a senator in the hold unnoticed and bring a Federation operative aboard. The Biology, indeed, may be in connection to Deanna Troi's plastic surgery, though I doubt he did it himself. Keeping the senator alive in stasis may be more to the point. And it IS a Science-related skill. Computer Skill would be used to forge "Major Rakal"'s documents and fool the ship's sensors as to the contents of its own hold. And since the Romulan underground is on the side of the angels (a return to peaceful Vulcan ideals), he's got Honor. Integrity's not too high though, possibly because he's still being very sneaky and betraying the Empire. He's quite smart to pull all this off, of course, and Cunning is a Romulan trait, as well as useful in his chosen field. Strength may be a bit high despite coming from a physically strong species. Battle doesn't seem to be a big priority in his job, though being in the underground might have toughened him up. It all passes inspection, but of course, there's not much that's inventive here. A 3.9.
STOCKABILITY: Very, very close to Taibak, with Honor instead of Treachery (and correspondinly changed INTEGRITY), and a better icon. Enough not to be redundant? Perhaps, but Treachery is a lot more useful to Romulan decks. Taibak's also got all that E-Band Emission stuff going for him, while N'Vek's got the underground. What does that do? Well, it boosts Tamarith. Unfortunately, that's it. I usually pan 3-skill personnel severely, but the Romulans have fewer "big guns" than other affiliations (because of their Premiere foundation). He might fit best at Khitomer Research, but no other missions jump out at me. A pretty average 3 then.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) Glad to see these personnel get a second chance in 2E.
PICTURE: I actually like the Nagilum effect, that creepy distorted face. I don't especially like the purple clouds around him (but how that color comes off in Premiere has long been a beef of mine). Nothing else to say, so let's skip to the score of 3.1.
LORE: Brief and to the point, only half the space is used. There could have been more here. Eh... a 3.
TREK SENSE: My biggest beef with this card isn't the purple, it's the fact that Nagilum can't possibly be represented by a single dilemma. He did a lot more than threaten to kill half the crew: He sent ghost ships up against the Enterprise and kept the ship trapped in a pocket dimension of blackness. His cruelties aren't quite as diverse as, say, Chula's or The Clown's, but they are varied nonetheless. The card acknoweldges that Nagilum is an episode/mission in and of itself by giving it a point box (though Study "Hole in Space" is actually the mission here - though there's no connection). So let's take this dilemma as only one of the threats (the biggest, I suppose) represented by Nagilum. How does the effect stack up? Well, on the show, Nagilum does say he'll have to kill a third to half the crew. The dilemma says half the crew, rounded down. Sounds good. In the show, Nagilum let the Enterprise go when Picard set the auto-destruct. He just lost interest, you might say. Playing Auto-Destruct Sequence (without effect) to discard the dilemma would have been nice. What we get is an ok compromise. On the one hand, you can use lots of Diplomacy to make Nagilum understand you're not gonna cooperate with his torture schemes and that you WILL use the auto-destruct to cheat him of his experiments. Diplomacy as communication skill works ok. Another way to prove your determination is with Strength... is that right? You can't actually physically fight back here. And while Strength might have been useful in enduring Nagilum's cruelties, this is the only place the attribute is equated to strong will. I do believe it should be Integrity here. Ends up at 2.7.
SEEDABILITY: A very strong dilemma, killing as much as half a ship's crew (at worst, one less than half). Really puts a dent in mega-crews, and on a ship, there's nowhere to hide. The entire crew attempts and is at risk. Obviously, you don't want that crew to pass the dilemma. First, it overcomes the effect, and then, your opponent would score 5 points. Ok, so what can we do? 3 Diplomacy is fairly easy for some affiliations to come up with (like the Feds, certainly), but less so for others. STRENGTH is where the Feds might fail, but not a lot of the more treacherous affiliations. For a strong effect, two preceding cards in a combo would not be too much to ask for. Strict Dress Code could take care of the Diplomacy (or an opponent's choice killer or filter), but there aren't enough Diplomacy hosers in 1E. Time to break out your 2E cards and use A Pleasant Surprise, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, Inside Collaborators or Tense Negotiations. The STRENGTH aspect also has to be adressed, maybe with Rascals or Interphasic Plasma Creatures. None of it is foolproof, so there's a lot of risk of giving points away. But the effect is worth it. Hits 3.4.
TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) Could stand massive re-design.
PICTURE: The resolution wasn't great to start with, but even the screen graphics that show up here look bad. Well, the Nanites themselves aren't THAT bad, but we'd like to see them more. A 1.9, I'm afraid.
LORE: I like the "originally"/"now" structure, though the rest is fairly standard stuff. Above average at 3.3.
TREK SENSE: Out-of-control Nanites were the A-story in "Evolution", which justifies the point value of the dilemma. It's like defeating them was a mission unto itself. Their "disabling computer systems" actually damages the ship, as on the show. To overcome the dilemma, you either need 2 Science (the solution disables or somehow expels the Nanites from the ship's systems) or Diplomacy (once you've figured out they have become sentient and would rather convince them to leave things alone). That's fine and everything, but quite dull, and rather incomplete. An Android could act as host to the Nanites, for example, which would make the Diplomatic solution more reasonable. Ah well. One thing I definitely can't agree on is that the dilemma is discarded after its effect. Really? Where do the Nanites go by themselves? A very workmanlike effort, not really worthy of the concept. A disappointing 2.5.
SEEDABILITY: Damaging a ship is nice, but I really doubt an opponent couldn't overcome this dilemma. It's just too easy to have points attached to it. That said, it's one of the best dilemmas to self-seed for bonus points. Just a Diplomacy (or alternately, 2 SCIENCE) and whammo, that mission is worth an extra 5 points (scored before you even complete it). Hey, as long as you don't go over 15 points with self-seeds, you're safe from Writ of Accountability. There really isn't more to say. For what it is, a 3.
TOTAL: 10.7 (53.5%) That's a big score for such a small dilemma ;-).
PICTURE: Whatever species Narik is (once thought to be at least a homage to TOS' Tellarites), they're not real photogenic. Narik has little presence, and the heavenly light on him and diffuse background seem out of place. On the plus side, the foreground has better focus than many Premiere cards. A 2.4.
LORE: Very, very vague, more even than other universal personnel. I mean, typical mercenary doesn't quite describe him. It's too wide. He's a typical merc engineer, maybe. His function as part of Baran's crew is also glossed over glibly. A dull 2.
TREK SENSE: Narik was the Fortune's Engineer, and in a subservient Staff position. A Computer Skill mission specialist? If you say so, though we could easy tag other skills on there, like Treachery and Greed. It's not a very satisfying skill list, let's say. As for the Integrity, I'm not sure it should be lower than Baran's (who was the real bad guy) though it should be low (no more than a 3). Cunning's high enough to do his job, but even so, he didn't seem all that swift. Strength's ok for his "job". It's all ok, but nothing really feels "right", neither for Narik specifically, or for a "typical mercenary". Just 2.5.
STOCKABILITY: Narik's usefulness arises from his mission specialist status for a very common skill. The Feds have three already, and the Romulans and Klingons one, but Narik can work with anyone and will supplement the Ferengi as well (other affiliations are less suited to running mission specialist decks, but it can work). Heck, there are enough missions that require multiple Computer Skill that Narik can work with the Feds, Klingons and Rommies too. ENGINEER is a good classification to have on the side, not only for its mission-solving qualities, but to enable Divert Power (downloadable at Maintenance Overhaul, which requires... wait for it... Computer Skill!). Attributes are lackluster without being crippling, and he's as cheap as can be (he was even in the free Warp Pack, if I remember correctly). Useful enough to get 3.5.
TOTAL: 10.4 (52%) I don't think he should be told to expect big things.
PICTURE: This image makes me to this day imagine that Nausicaans are a multi-colored race, but since I'm disappointed every time I see them elsewhere, I must conclude they are under differently-colored lights. It does break up the image, making it much more interesting, though I must complain about the fuzziness of the card, especially in the tan sections. Hovers around 3.2.
LORE: A few bits about the species, and an example of their quick temper at work that matches the card's effect, more or less. Ok, though with all that space left, an anime reference would have been nice here given their name. No more than a straight 3.
TREK SENSE: Ok, so some Nausicaans pick a fight and somebody gets killed unless your Away Team is strong enough to fight them off. Mathematically speaking that would make them Strength 14 each if there are as many as on the pic, though there's probably a fourth one someplace, since the Nausicaan personnel we have don't have more than Strength 11. The dilemma is planet-only, so these aren't the kinds of Nausicaan pirates we saw in Enterprise, but that's ok. The effect is simple, as is the requirement. It's hard to dispute any of it since the Nausicaans really don't need a reason to participate in a fight. Let's not look too much at what actually happened on the show, since Picard's circumstances were unusual. A 4.
SEEDABILITY: Your typical STRENGTH-based planet dilemma, it requires a large amount of the attribute to avoid the random death. At least 45, in fact, which may or may not require a lot of personnel depending on who you play. Feds, Ferengi and Vidiians, for example, aren't as strong as Klingons, Dominion or Hirogen, but even so, they may use STRENGTH-boosters like simple hand weapons to increase their power. So a powerful, armed Klingon Away Team, for example, could do it with as little as 4 personnel, while a weak unarmed Ferengi team might need as many as 9 or 10! It's hard not to compare this one to Chalnoth, and favorably too. Its requirement is steeper by 4 (with no alternative SECURITY requirement), and there's no chance of your opponent winning points off of it. You sacrifice any self-seed options you might have wanted, and the selection is random rather than yours. If a dilemma has too much of a risk of being overcome (as with 3 SECURITY), then I'd rather have it tougher but more random. There ARE alternative requirements, but they will only rarely come your way: Interphase Generator and Zon. As always with STRENGTH dilemmas, hand weapon destroyers and maybe Interphasic Plasma Creatures make great lead-ins. Score's 3.6 here.
TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) 1% over the similar Chalnoth.
PICTURE: Semi-interesting decor our characters are beaming into, though if it's supposed to be a courtyard or agora, that orange sky looks incredibly fake, like, TOS-fake. I also wish there was more to distinguish this from a normal transport job. As is, it's aesthetically fine, with good colors and a fairly symmetric composition. A 3.
LORE: 1.5 here. What? You want a longer review than that? Well exactly! This doesn't even cover one whole line. It's vague, bereft of any context, examples or details... A 1.5.
TREK SENSE: We'll have to get over how silly the whole concept was on the show in the first place quickly enough, but we should discuss it a bit. See, there's no reason to endanger an Away Team with this procedure when warp speed is so fast, stopping for a proper transport would mean no actual delay. I don't know what they were thinking with this. How they've decided to treat it here is interesting. Near-Warp Transport doesn't actually have a greater range (heck, to another spaceline location would be immense range, especially outside a Region). What's actually happening is that the ship is actually making a pass at that other location and then returning to its "true" location. In effect, your ship is cheating its own Range. One way to justify it is that you have to slow down inside systems, which is part of the ship's Range. Not going to impulse for more than a second actually saves on overall Range, allowing for maneuvers like this. Of course, if you can get there, you can stop there, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe stopping there would get you only on the edge of the system, not at the location proper until the next turn. Yeah, troublesome, I know. The maximum on personnel and equipment beamed makes sense in that it's all a transporter pad can take in one go, and since you're not stopping for long, you don't have time to get another batch on the pad. I'd agree totally if much of our Equipment cards weren't so small and portable. A Tricorder doesn't need its own pad! Also, ships have varying transport capabilities which aren't acknowledged here. A shuttle might only have room for one or two personnel. The Enterprise had MULTIPLE transporter rooms. Also, a need for Transporter Skill might have been proper (had it existed yet). While the concept is intriguing on a physical level, it's also as mystifying as it was on the show. A 1.8, and I may be generous.
STOCKABILITY: Well... Since the Fajo Collection's Miles O'Brien downloads it, I might include it in decks with him. Otherwise, I'd probably prefer a RANGE boost if all I'm doing is beaming to a planet mission. After all, actually BEING at the location would mean I wouldn't have to limit my Away Team to 6 personnel and equipment, open myself up to Crisis, etc. Mega-Away Teams are strong, and the limit impairs any attempts at a surprise personnel battle using this card. I can still see a couple of advantages to Near-Warp Transport though. For one thing, there's the idea of emergency reinforcements: Your Away Team or crew has been hit by a dilemma with a countdown, and you're trying to ferry the cure from your outpost to the mission. You almost get there, but run out of RANGE. A good time to use Miles' special download, right? Not having it in hand at the right time IS a problem when used defensively like this. One more proactive use is to use it in combination with Invasive Transporters (including Borg Objective that allow beaming to a ship, like Assimilate Starship). In this case, you could surprise an opponent who's doing his best to avoid your ships, always staying out of range, whether it's to battle or to infiltrate those ships. Stocking a good number of Near-Warp Transports could allow you to overcome the 6 per beam-in limit. Of course, there's no return button on this thing, so your personnel are on their own until they can bring a ship in closer. Rehabilitated somewhat in my eyes, it's still far from great at 3.1.
TOTAL: 9.4 (47%) Another one of those iffy Premiere propositions.
PICTURE: Strange hairstyle, but a handsome woman (isn't that a terrible turn of phrase?) that was a good match for Picard. Though in her lab here, where she *should* be - the instrumentation is interesting and gets us way from just another bust shot - it's really too bad they didn't go with something more musically driven. Those were the best scenes in "Lessons", and we miss that aspect here. A fair, but not-so-wisely chosen pic that gets 2.9 from me.
LORE: Eh. Rank is followed by a skill we already get through the game text (at least she's not confusingly called a "mission specialist"). The piano gets a short phrase, and then the standard romantic involvement. Pretty dull and she deserved better. Another dull, average 2.9.
TREK SENSE: Head of Stellar Cartography, both that skill and the related Astrophysics make a showing (as does the umbrella-skill Science). As department head, one of them doubled might have been nice. Music of course figures in, since she was both an excellent pianist and Picard's flute teacher. Again, you wish for a little more. Without pointlessly suggesting special skills, I think there are standard ones she might have deserved. Leadership and possibly Honor are among these (from being department head to sticking to her Firestorm-threatened teams on Bersallis III). I don't mind the Staff icon that much, since the department was clearly not given any kind of priority (though she changed that a bit). At least her honorable side comes out in her Integrity. The Cunning is also good for someone in her position and with her sharp mind. Strength is at your standard Starfleet-trained non-combattant level, with some spunk and toughness thrown in. I'm just sorry they didn't do more with her, since I consider her THE match for Picard (sorry Anij fans). Yep, 2.9.
STOCKABILITY: She can only hope for a 2.9 here, because she most probably won't get there. The Feds have too many personnel to dally around with anything but the best. At 3 skills, she falls in that awkward place between the support personnel and the skilled personnel. The fact that one of those skills is Music further hurts her, because it's just not as useful as the others (especially in an environment where Ooby Dooby is hosed by Strategema). The 3 others (if I count the classification) are good, and often appear together, but that's as true of personnel as it is of missions and dilemmas. Some good attributes there, but again, we can get that elsewhere. Not useless in sealed deck format, for example, but if you have access to the entire collection, she falls by the wayside very quickly. A 2.5.
TOTAL: 11.2 (56%) This is one personnel I can't wait to see reinterpreted in 2E.
PICTURE: Overlit so as to wash out the colors, the card also suffers from a distracting foreground element (the glass pyramid), and Neral himself's silly expression (and hat hair). We get that he's a plotter, and the pose is original, but I can't go higher than 2.4 here.
LORE: Being a Proconsul has a use in the game, but this is otherwise very plain, with room to spare. I'm even surprised we don't get a date for the plot :-P. An average 3.
TREK SENSE: A Proconsul is a VIP, yes, and his little plot deserves Treachery, but from then on, we encounter problems. Should he really be a "support personnel" with his position? After all, we could easily imagine other skills here, like Diplomacy, Law, Leadership and/or Anthropology. But no. We get Youth instead. It just so happens I don't readily agree with twentysomethings having the skill, but in this case, I would assume that Neral is even older than that. Sure, Pardek said he was young and liberal, but compared to stuffy senators, that doesn't mean much. Furthermore, he's a Proconsul! You don't get to that point right after high school! Appearances can also be deceiving when dealing with long-lived races (like their cousin Vulcans). And finally, by the time Neral makes Praetor, he looks way older. That's a continuity problem with the show, alluded to in very funny fashion on the Praetor Neral card, but be that as it may, it hurts the Trek Sense of the Youth skill being on this card here. As for the rest, well, I'm not sure we can argue for a Command icon since he was shipless, but then, a lot of political leaders still get the icon. His Integrity is ok, but could have been even lower. Cunning might've been higher even if Sela seemed to be the real ringleader, if only to respect racial norms. Strength is fine for a Romulan that doesn't do any fighting. A sad 1.8.
STOCKABILITY: The good version of this persona is Praetor Neral, but just plain, simple Neral may be easier to report for later, aboard-ship switching. He can download via Assign Support Personnel, for example (both can report to either Romulan HQ for free, of course). Everything about him is inferior (they are even both able to overcome Executive Authorization) except - ooooh - one point of INTEGRITY (not a big difference at that scale). The Romulans are a bit low on Youth, perhaps, but it's not a very important skill, especially with Ooby Dooby having been Strategemaed. Meanwhile, Treachery is super-common. No staffing icon, ordinary attributes... a pretty lame 2.
TOTAL: 9.2 (46%) Had a long way to go.
#2105-Neural Servo Device, Event
"Device which can be used to control a crew by activating pain causing implants."
-Plays on any non-aligned ship. Unless 2 SECURITY aboard, use ship and crew for one turn as your own. Discard event.
PICTURE: The shot shows how stylish the Device is - though not how functional it might really be - and has a toothy, menacing appearance. I like that it's being shown in use too, though the rest of the elements are fairly dark and dull (especially the grainy hand). A 2.8 for what's there.
LORE: The title is the name given to the item on the show, but I think the Next Gen creators missed an opportunity by not connecting it with "Mirror, Mirror"'s agonizers. Decipher didn't make the leap either (couldn't with that time's licensing contract), and what's there is very bare bones. It's fine, just not great. A 3 with room to spare.
TREK SENSE: Its heart was in the right place, I think, but the execution is ludicrous. First, they've made this item (not so use the word "equipment") Non-Aligned only by requiring it to play on an NA ship. This, I don't mind. In the first place, the one time we saw this, it was being used on an NA crew, and in the second, affiliated crews shouldn't need this to motivate the troups - they are on the same side and have similar goals. You don't need to keep your lieutenant "in line". There are exceptions though, as we saw from the Mirror universe episodes, and you could well imagine the nasty affiliations using this on NAs they have with them even on an affiliated ship. Conversely, a Non-Aligned ship full of Feds could still use this! It doesn't really matter though because there's a bigger problem here. Namely, that you are using this on an opponent's ship, as if you somehow took control of its commander, put implants in all other crewmembers, and then used the Device to make them do what you want for a turn. No mention is made of the crew's Integrity or of "nice" NAs, which is a minus, and you lose control of said commander at the end of a turn. Were the implants there all the time? Was the commander always liable to do this? Then why is he working at cross-currents from his former policies all of a sudden? And if you just complete a mission with them (same agenda), why would you get the points rather than the player whose ship it is? And then there's the question of the 2 Security that prevents the card's play. Why is the commander being treated as an intruder? So we're left with an (unseen) evil enemy that boards the ship, somehow places implants on the crew, and controls them for a turn before being killed or captured, or else leaves of his own volition. I've seen worse plots in Star Trek, but it's a little far-fetched and doesn't really follow onscreen evidence. And then why only NA ships? So I'm of two minds, but this is definitely a mess. Only 1.5.
STOCKABILITY: The major obstacle to using this card is that 2 SECURITY stymies it. That's a very easy requirement to "overcome", and some affiliations in particular are always going to have it on hand (like the Dominion). Getting rid of the SECURITY can be done with certain Tactics and Dilemmas, but the former requires a successful battle, and the latter a little luck (that ship must attempt that mission). Still doable. You could, for example, set up a dilemma combo that weeded out SECURITY and then stopped the entire crew. A Neural Servo Device (possible Tented, you need it at the right time) is then played on the ship, and its crew is used to complete the mission on the next turn, and you score the points. Memory Wipe is its sister card, turning that affiliated ship into a Non-Aligned one, which may definitely be required depending on the deck (but you would have to Kevin the Wipe if the mission then requires an affiliation icon). Most affiliations have the wide variety of ships they need and want these days, and you won't see as many NAs floating around. The ones with very special abilities may be an exception, and indeed it would be nice to take momentary control of the Fesarius, Gomtuu, etc. And stealing mission points isn't the only game out there. You could turn on the opponent's other ships with battling, you could beam off the entire crew (or part of it), setting the ship up for some other card, you might plunge the ship headlong into your favorite dilemma, or you could finish off your turn with an Auto-Destruct Sequence. Lots of possibilities. One I like from the card extra is the use of Space-Time Portal to send the ship and crew back to owner's hand. They all have to be replayed AND your Neural Servo Device goes back to your hand where you can do this again. The restrictions placed on this card still keep it down, don't get me wrong, but if you can make it work, there's lots you can do with NSD. Ends up at 3.3.
TOTAL: 10.6 (53%) The usual Premiere hiccups.
#2118-New Contact, Mission, planet, Klingon/Romulan
Tau Alpha C: Seek contact with advanced civilization at this distant planet.
-Diplomacy + Leadership + Empathy + Anthropology
-Span: 4; 40 points
PICTURE: The planet was never seen, only mentioned, so this non-descript non-aligned (yellow) world is as good as any. I mean, we're quite used to it, but it's really just a colored circle with a shadow on it. Am I seeing too much when the crescent looks to me like the "C" in Tau Alpha C? I know I should go lower, but I'm pushed (by nostlagia?) toward a 3.
LORE: Average stuff, but well inferred from what little we learned of the place in "Where No One Has Gone Before". I also like the mirror effect in the First Contact for Feds, and this New Contact for the other two original affiliations. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Total invention, but still well extrapolated. See, the Traveler told us he was from this world (that could have been a smoke screen so that his story couldn't be crossed-checked however, how else should I take his 2E card's "Alien" species?) We know it's far away, so on the other side of the Klingon and Romulan empires, deep in the Beta Quadrant is a good place to situate it. In that part of space, it makes sense that the Klingons and Romulans would be the ones attempting. I know it was just created to give them more stuff to do, but again, a good invention. The requirements are a bit strange however, reading a lot like a Federation mission run by Federation values. Klingons and Rommies would probably play it more like conquerors. And what's Empathy, a decidedly alien skill, doing here? The two affiliations don't have a single non-AU Empath among them! Oh wait, The Viceroy is backwards-compatible (still not much). Anyway, is this really necessary unless the Tau Cetans are telepathic or have weird emotions or somesuch? The rest is your standard first contact scenario, with Anthropology to understand the culture, Diplomacy to open negotiations, and Leadership to show the proper authority to enter into them. It's fine, but really more of a Federation solution. If the natives here really are that advanced (as the Traveler was), then the high points make sense: There's a lot you could learn or steal from these guys. Span makes it far away, but a fiver would have been nicer. Since requirements are key, this mission gets panned, winding up at an even 2.
SEEDABILITY: 40 points is a great bounty, and that can easily be upped with mission specialists, but Empathy isn't part of the regular Klingon or Romulan skill pool, so it could make this one tougher than it looks (because 4 skills isn't usually hard to come up with). Thankfully, that's where Major Rakal and/or The Viceroy come in for the Romulans. Even so, this is such a targetable skill that Non-Aligned back-up should also be available. The Klingons have no other recourse, unless they have a Treaty with the Federation (this is a good mission for that, in fact). The Empathy may indeed be seen as a way to prevent mission theft, as this one's not covered by Fair Play. A high-scoring mission with one difficulty, but definitely not insurmountable. Hits 3.4.
TOTAL: 11.5 (57.5%) Contact was not as fruitful as expected.
#2131-Nikolai Rozhenko, Personnel, Federation
"Lieutenant Worf's human foster brother. Son of Sergey and Helena Rozhenko."
-CIVILIAN, Anthropology, Computer Skill, Treachery; Staff icon
-INTEGRITY: 3, CUNNING: 7, STRENGTH: 4
PICTURE: Purplish blues come off as straight purples and fuchsias with Premiere printing methods, and that certainly doesn’t help Nikolai here. Even the tint of his skin seems off. Not that there was anything interesting there in the first place. A dull 2.5.
LORE: Massive amounts of information are missing, I’m afraid, with only his familial links mentioned. There’s nothing about his episode or anything. All of this might as well have been gleaned from other episodes where he and his parents were only mentioned. Just a 1.
TREK SENSE: A Civilian Anthropologist who, during “Homeward”, showed some Computer Skill is programming the holodeck to recreate the Boralans’ world (these two skills are in fact required of the Homeward mission). The Staff icon has the same source, showing he could work aboard a ship. Treachery, however, I have misgivings about. Ok, he broke the Prime Directive, but in this case, was Treachery really the motive? He tried to save a culture and many lives, including that of his wife and unborn child. Can you blame him? Is he really an Integrity 3 scumbag for this? The answer is no, and while Treachery could be forgiven because of his duplicitous actions, the attribute cannot. Cunning and Strength are fine, though his general bulk and ability to live in harsh conditions could have upped the latter a notch. Problems take him down to 2.9.
STOCKABILITY: Well, when he first showed up, Nikolai was one of the few Federation CIVILIANs and one of the few Federation Treachery personnel. We can’t say that anymore. As a 3-skill personnel with lame attributes and a less-than-useful classification, he’s not making the top of any list. Sure, Homeward was tailor-made for him, but there are other personnel with Anthropology and Computer Skill (ok, they’re all from other eras or quadrants, but good enough that you’d AU them into play instead of him), and he’s far from the only guy that can pass In the Pale Moonlight these days. Maybe I’m looking for reasons not to use him, and maybe it’s just that I’ve never really seen him used. Not terrible, just out-classed at every turn. 2.5 here.
TOTAL: 8.9 (44.5%) A nice actor like Paul Sorvino deserved more, both here and on the show.
#2144-Nitrium Metal Parasites, Dilemma, space
"Microscopic life-forms that normally live in asteroids but can infest and damage ships by ingesting nitrium."
-Place on ship. Ship can still move, but is destroyed at the end of your second full turn unless 2 SCIENCE OR 2 ENGINEER aboard by that time.
PICTURE: Well, mint and chocolate isn't a color scheme we get a lot of, and we do get both the parasites and their food source in the same shot (hey, and the rarely-seen computer core room). Then again, the effect is fairly primitive and the resolution leaves something to be desired. A dull 2.5.
LORE: There should always be a comma before the word "but" in a sentence. Other than that, the whole thing comes off as technobabble. There was room for a little more explanation of why nitrium was so important to a ship, but (see?) they missed that boat. Another dull one, this time, a 2.
TREK SENSE: I thought the real hazard in "Cost of Living" was Lwaxana and Alexander being in the same episode, so it's perhaps fitting that the Nitrium Metal Parasites are so toothless. A couple of Scientists or Engineers can get rid of them for you (with a reasonable technobabble solution), that's fair enough, though the dilemma could have been much harder, in my opinion (they were hard to detect). Perhaps some Exobiology, or actually combining the 2 classifications instead of alternating them? As for the effect, I'm okay with the delay (we would say Countdown now), since it takes time for the Parasites to eat enough Nitrium for the ship to collapse, but shouldn't there be some kind of damage before we get to outright destruction? A very minor effort with some big plot holes. A 1.8, which seems kind.
SEEDABILITY: Again in Premiere, we have a dilemma with requirements that are WAY too easy to ever see use. Maybe if we had a dilemma that suspended classifications (perhaps except OFFICER), we'd have something, but even then, that effect would have to last another full turn. But dream cards aside, it would be difficult to weed out both enough SCIENCE and enough ENGINEER to have this hit, and even if it's not immediately overcome, the player would have an extra turn to report the proper personnel, have them be unstopped, or whatever. Destroying a ship outright is a tantalizing prospect, but it's just not gonna happen. For sealed deck play then, or if you put a lot of effort in setting it up (but that would require so many dilemmas, your opponent may well avoid that mission). A 1.5.
TOTAL: 7.8 (39%) Another one bites the nitrium.
#2157-Norah Satie, Personnel, Federation
"Admiral Norah Satie assigned Captain Jean-Luc Picard to the USS Enterprise. Zealous investigator who exposed the alien conspiracy of 2364."
-VIP, Leadership; Command icon
-INTEGRITY: 9 CUNNING: 6 STRENGTH: 2
PICTURE: The regal posture suits her, and she stands out well against the usual beige background. Well-chosen in that she is severe, so a 3.4.
LORE: Some good stuff here, including remembering that she is an Admiral (useful with other cards), and her very fist connection with the Enterprise. The conspiracy from "Conspiracy" is also mentioned as part of her record, and the word "zealous" is a fun epithet. But while I like these historical details, I'm a little disappointed that there's nothing about "The Drumhead", her actual episode. Likewise, a mention of her famous father would have been nice. Dwells too much on the past, but it's an interesting past, so 3.2.
TREK SENSE: An Admiral working the judiciary side of things may well be a VIP instead of an Officer (she doesn't wear the uniform), but would also have Law! That's the glaring omission here, and it's because the skill hadn't been introduced yet. Trek Sense doesn't care about that though. She certainly threw her authority around, so Leadership and the Command icon are safe bets, and there's nothing wrong per se with an Admiral being a "Leadership specialist". I think her Integrity may be too high. Sure, her zeal may have meant she was TOO ethical for her own good, seeing every little sin as treason, but her McCarthyism denying suspects due process should be taken into account. A 9 doesn't do that. Is she really as ethical as Picard? Her mental instability can be seen in her low Cunning, and that's all right, even if she was no doubt smarter than this. Strength is that of an old pencil pusher, and I have no problems with it. The missing Law isn't the designers' fault, but the attributes are. Settles at 2.4.
STOCKABILITY: Premiere had a lot of redudant cards. For example, 3 Federation personnel with Leadership as their only skill, plus a Command icon. Benjamin Maxwell has the more useful OFFICER classification and higher attributes (with the same 9 INTEGRITY), plus matching commander status on a ship. Sirna Kolrami, for his part, is much closer to Satie, with the same low STRENGTH and the VIP classification. INTEGRITY's not as high, but is that really a problem for the Feds? CUNNING remains much better. The perk Satie has going for her is that she's an Admiral, so can be reported for free at the Office of the President and downloaded via Going to the Top. But as mission specialists, they can all be downloaded with Assign Mission Specialists (and Maxwell with Ready Room Door to boot). If the two others are better cards, then we have to ask if there are missions that require Leadership x3 that would make it worth stocking all 3 specialists. And there aren't. The buck stops at x2. The Drumhead dilemma makes an attempt at giving her a use, perhaps as a simple stay-at-home sitting in your facility: The dilemma's target is your choice if she's in play. Still has to be a personnel of low INTEGRITY (4 or less), so it's a limited ability, but at least it's something. Something that takes her off the useless list and up to a score of 2.
TOTAL: 11 (55%) Time for retirement.
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