Siskoid's Rolodex....Premium Cards (2player)

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There are various Premium Products. They are listed here in order of appearance. Each is linked to its appropriate card list:

The 2-Player Game (Personnel, Fed Missions, Klingon Missions):

#6-Admiral McCoy, Personnel, Federation
"Not a psychiatrist, mechanic, coal miner, bricklayer, scientist, physicist, moon shuttle conductor, escalator, magician or fish peddler. Just an old country doctor."
-VIP, MEDICAL, Exobiology, Cantankerousness; Other MEDICAL are CUNNING +3 where present; Staff icon

PICTURE: Ok, I know he doesn't get a lot of screentime, and he's pretty rubber-faced even there, but hey, it just doesn't look that great. Close to average, though. A 2.8.

LORE: Delicious! Just what the doctor ordered in fact. THIS is what lore can be when the design team is clever and shows a true love of the show. A 5, yes, a 5.

TREK SENSE: Very close to the show. The skills are dead on, with the boost to Cunning working his long experience into the game quite well. It's one of the attribute bonuses that actually makes a lot of Trek sense. A 4.8.

STOCKABILITY: While the Strength of 1 can be a liability, the double-classification is always a plus, especially since VIPs are more and more useful. It's unfortunate that Cantankerousness doesn't have anything to do except helping solve Reunion. And the extra Cunning for MEDICALs is fine, but what they really need is a Strength boost to help them survive Away team battles. So, he's ok, but could be better. No more than a 3.1 I'm afraid.

TOTAL: 15.7 (78.5%)

#31-Admiral Picard, Personnel, Federation, AU, Barash icon
"The former captain of the USS Enterprise pursued an unprecedented treaty with the Romulans in Barash's illusion."
-VIP, Diplomacy, Leadership, Honor, Navigation, Command icon

PICTURE: Picard, straight as a board, with more hair on the back of his head than when he was younger. Not bad, just not great. And the Barash icon is cool, but in danger of being mistaken for an Orb icon by more myopic players. A resounding 2.6.

LORE: Tells the story, puts us in context, what more can we say? This: the text makes it sound like there has never been a treaty between the Feds and the Roms before. Misleading (the treaty of Algeron has been in effect for decades). The lore also makes Admiral Picard a viable matching commander for the Enterprise (bonus points!). A 3.

TREK SENSE: Can't even comment on the Barash icon, it still does nothing. The rest reads like a weakened Picard. This is presumably because the Barash illusion had some imperfections. In the illusion, Picard loses one level of Diplomacy yet he's signing treaties (chalk it up to one of Barash's mistakes), Music (hadn't learned to play the flute yet when "Future Imperfect" aired), and Archeology (Barash again?). Can't fault the card as far as the facts go, but quite unimaginative. A 4. (I'm also taking exception at his still being matching commander after all these years.)

STOCKABILITY: Unless you really need the staffing for your Future Enterprise, you probably leave him at home while the real J-P travels the spaceways. Extra use: have him command the Enterprise while Jean-Luc commands the Stargazer and you get two good ships instead of one. Still, only a 2.1.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) Like other premiums in the Federation 2-Player set, a disappointing card. The Klingons definitely got the better deal with that product.

#59-A Good Place to Die, Mission, Klingon, planet
Halee System: Study harsh planet where Klingon criminals are exiled "to die on their feet with honor."
-Physics + STRENGTH>33 OR Biology + Honor
-Span: 3; 25 points

PICTURE: Barren rock. Its small size on the card makes it look all the more remote. A good conceptual (never seen) design for Halee. A 3.9.

LORE: The mission is all wrong. First, why name an entire system (Halee) when only one planet is key to the mission? Second, Klingons are actually going to study their penitentiary? Guard duty, escort service, even undercover work or getting info from a prisoner, sure. But study? I don't buy it. A 0.1.

TREK SENSE: Aside from the preposterousness of the mission, the mission requirements are also askew. One possibility asks for strength (dangerous criminals and environment) and... physics? Ok, it's a study. The other possible requirements ask for Honor (Klingons all around) and Biology. So, are we studying the planet or its inhabitants? This card's a slave of the 2-player game which had only common personnel in it. A 2.

SEEDABILITY: 25-pointers are good against Borg assimilation (i.e. they can't be assimilated), and you can pad the points with Mission Specialists. Klingons have plenty of Honor in that field for example, and Physics too. In other decks, it's lame. A 3.5.

TOTAL: 9.4 (47%) Not as bad as some of the criteria make it look.

#94-Avert Danger, Federation/Klingon, planet
Moab IV: Aid colony threatened with destruction by a stellar core fragment.
-Stellar Cartography + CUNNING>35 OR Astrophysics + CUNNING>35
-Span: 4; 30 points

PICTURE: Nice colors and the star in the background is just right. Its proximity to the planet and diffuse appearance gives us the impression of the stellar core fragment nearing. An excellent 4.1.

LORE: As far as mission lore goes, this one's spot on. I've got to take away some points though for the odd phrasing of the game text. Usually, this would say (Stellar Cartography OR Astrophysics) + CUNNING>35. Why the change? Newbies who bought the 2-Player game couldn't understand parentheses? Score drops to 2.8.

TREK SENSE: It's a planet mission though it's all stellar cartography and astrophysics. In fact, this should be a planet/space mission, but those hadn't been thought up yet and would never have made it into the 2P. Its range is 4 to represent the "secret colony" aspect of the episode. It can be attempted by either the Federation or the Klingons, the latter perhaps by virtue of being the Feds' de facto allies (and because they have the necessary skills on their common personnel). Ho-hum. Either way, you'll need plenty of Cunning. This kind of thing doesn't happen every day and needs an entirely new solution. The choice is between using Stellar Cartography (a passive approach?) and Astrophysics (seems more active to me). A lot of concessions to make - a 2.5.

SEEDABILITY: As a 30-pointer, it's worth enough to include, and still immune to the Borg. The combination of requirements is fairly easy to muster, especially for that amount of points. I think the main reason to include any missions from 2P is that, if you have them, they make a nice change of pace. Other than that, Avert Danger isn't very exciting. A 3.

TOTAL: 12.4 (62%) I personnaly like the 2P missions. They're fairly easy for their point values and have nice images.

#133-Cargo Rendezvous, Mission, Federation/Klingon/Romulan, planet
Beltane IX: Appointed meeting to deliver cargo at this major commercial center.
-ENGINEERING + Physics + INTEGRITY>30 OR Greed + Treachery + CUNNING>32
-Span: 3; 35 points

PICTURE: Most 2-player game missions are beautifullt illustrated, and this one is no exception. The two spheres even seem te be having a rendezvous of sorts. And while the planet was never actually seen, the extrapolation looks good. The further a planet is from its star (and this one's a "IX"), the less hospitable it tends to be. The gas giant shown here fits the bill, with the actual trading center probably set on that yellowish moon. Good job! A 4.

LORE: Mission lore is always kinda boring, but I will say that the mission works well here for what little is known of Beltane IX (a major commercial center). And since there's nowhere else to say it, this card has one of the strangest typos in STCCG history: ENGINEERING? Sounds like a Site, not a skill. Of course, it's been errataed since, if you were playing "by the book", you couldn't possibly solve the mission with the first string of requirements. Somebody sleeping on the job? A 3 in all.

TREK SENSE: First, the Ferengi really should be included among the affiliations able to attempt the mission. That they didn't exist back then, is neither here nor there. In fact, I find it kind of odd that the Romulans and Feds use the same trading center. There are two possible requirement strings, the first for Feds and good Klingons, the other for Romulans and bad Klingons. The first one presupposes that, as seen in many episodes, the cargo is somehow hazardous in nature. Why else would Physics and ENGINEER be needed? Add to that the desire to make a fair and honorable trade (the Integrity), and you've got a Blue/Red mission. The other string (Red/Green) represents those who want to make an unfair trade, who perhaps want to cheat the receiver - Greed, Treachery and the Cunning to pull it off. While these make sense, they're not very specific. Discarding equipment, etc. could have made the card much closer to the truth. So not bad, but not great either. Having nothing to say about the Span and the point value, I'll go right to the score: 3.1.

SEEDABILITY: Emminently stealable with easy requirements, all three affiliations will have no problems going after its 35 points. Dangerous to use, and there are plenty of similar missions that are more affiliation-specific. Still, it's an easy 35 points. Scores 2.6.

TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) Shares a number of characteristics with other 2-player game missions: nice design, unimaginative game text and easy points.

#168-Commander Data, Personnel, Federation, AU, Barash icon
"In Barash's illusion, Data was second in command of the USS Enterprise under Captain Riker."
-OFFICER, ENGINEER, Computer Skill, Music, Astrophysics; Command icon; Not a Soong-type android

PICTURE: Why is Data such a sad sack here? Maybe to match his Premiere card's expression. Maybe because he's no android and thus prone to emotion. Maybe because he's seen how useful he really is. Not a bad picture overall, shows off the "future" uniforms, and allowed me my little jokes. A 3.1.

LORE: Cut down to bare essentials. I think an explanation of why he isn't considered to be an android would have helped the general playership. Why give more than 1.2?

TREK SENSE: The main point of the Barash illusion Data is that he isn't a Soong-type android. Confusing? Not really, although you might ask if he's some other kind of android and would thus be affected by android-affecting cards. He's not an android because, in the Barash illusion, the characters aren't perfectly duplicated. When asked to solve complex mathematical equations by Riker, he was unable to do so (Barash couldn't comepensate fast enough). If he's not as fast as an android, then he isn't one. His Cunning also drops a whopping four points. His Strength is lower and so is his Integrity (is a tool of the lie that is the illusion?). Aside from the Integrity, this goes with the non-androidness. The skills are those Data normally has minus Exobiology and one level of Computer Skill, proving that once again, Barash didn't think of everything. Works, but not to perfection. A 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: A cute collector card, but like Admiral Picard, not worth using over the real deal. His attributes are way inferior, he loses one of his more important skills and he's no android. What does that last clause entail? Well sure, he can't be targeted by android-affecting dilemmas and cards, but so what? He also can't pass dilemmas that require androids, or use cards such as Vulcan Nerve Pinch! He's just a regular personnel of the "not-an-android" race (Hate Crime fodder) with four fairly good skills and semi-high attributes. The AU icon has both a cost (needs a Doorway) and a use (staff AU vessels) and the Barash icon still does nothing. Still a good personnel, but nowhere near Data. A 3.5.

TOTAL: 11.7 (58.5%) Will this go up when Blaze of Glory gives us a use for the icon?

#203-Commander Troi, Personnel, Federation, AU, Barash icon
"In Barash's illusion, Deanna Troi left the USS Enterprise to take a position at Starfleet Command as Admiral Picard's diplomatic counselor."
-VIP, Empathy, Diplomacy, Honor, Anthropology, Command icon

PICTURE: Good and subtle ageing make-up on Troi makes this card interesting, as does the clear lighting. It's offset a bit by the  blank background. Looks good, at 3.6.

LORE: The name is ill-chosen, according to the stripes on Troi's Starfleet insignia, she is a captain (4 stripes = 4 pips). The title just compounds a mistake the tv show made. The lore itself gives good information, but does not mention anything about her Betazoid heritage which must be inferred from other Troi cards (not so user-friendly). A couple of mistakes brings this score down to a 2.3.

TREK SENSE: Let me preface by mentioning that any personnel from the Barash illusion is difficult to critique since it was part of the storyline that Barash made some mistakes in his interpretation of the Enterprise's crew. So incongruencies here could be explained away thanks to that. Yeah... we'll see. As part of a diplomatic team, it makes sense this "future" Troi would trade her OFFICER for VIP status. She still retains Diplomacy (of course) and Empathy (she's still Betazoid), and gains two new skills. One is Anthropology which Decipher didn't have the good sense to put even on her most recent persona (FC). Her constant advice about other races (like the Jarada) are proof enough of this skill without having to go to episodes like "Darmok". Honor, on the other, doesn't feel justified. Honor? Because she showed loyalty to Picard by following him off the Enterprise? That doesn't seem like enough. Even odder, her Integrity has dropped two points! Not only does that not jibe with her new honorable self, but it's also hard to justify. What, because she's consorting with the Romulan enemy? I would think forgiving the Romulans and negociating a peace with them would require more integrity, not less. A 2.

STOCKABILITY: All the Trois after Premiere are better than the original. Commander Troi is too, but she's only second last. Major Rakal is a great mission thief and FC Deanna has a good special skill. This Troi is still a good Empathy personnel with useful Diplomacy and rare Anthropology. Honor isn't that sought after for the Feds, though. VIP is probably a better classification for Dee, as her low STRENGTH won't help her pass Maglocks anyway, and many Federation VIPs are one or two skill personnel. Her four skills bring her up a bit. Still no word on the Barash icon and what it does, so no score adjustment there. All in all, not a bad personnel, but a little lackluster. A 3.

TOTAL: 10.9 (54.5%) None of the Federation 2-player premiums did very well,  I'm afraid.

#238-Data Laughing, Interrupt
"When Lt. Commander Data rescued the temporarily mortal Q from the Calamarain in 2366, Q awarded him with the gift of laughter."
-Nullifies Calamarain OR doubles Data's Head this turn OR retakes one ship controlled by Lore Returns so that Lore and Rogue Borg now follow your direction.

PICTURE: Great fun. Data's expression is so genuine as to be contagious, and a real contrast has been built between this card and Premiere Data's personnel card. They sit at the same place with totally different expressions on their faces. A cool 4.5.

LORE: That's what happened all right, but the syntax is a little strange. Now that Mortal Q is a personnel name, the phrase "temporarily mortal Q" sounds odd. It's just your basic lore at 3.

TREK SENSE: What Trek Sense? Nullifying the Calamarain, while potentially in Data's power, is a cart before the horses deal here. Data is only rewarded with laughter AFTER he's done the nullifying. Still, I can see how this would work. The other effects have to do with Data, but not with laughter. Doubling Data's Head is pure nonsense. Nice play on "laughing your head off" though. Taking control of Lore's RBM ships has some relevance, in that Lore made Data his partner in the RBM scheme and gave him emotions. Not the ability to laugh though. And I can't even push this explanation because the Rogue Borg didn't really fall under Data's (your) control, but vice-versa. The Feds lost Data that day. 0.6 and that's for the pun.

STOCKABILITY: Not extremely. Two of the effects are based on your opponent playing certain cards. One is Calamarain which is only now becoming useful with the advent of Tactic cards, so maybe you should start polishing your Data Laughings. The other is Lore Returns, and while it would be fun to turn the tables on your opponent, it's not a strategy that's used much. No, the real reason to stock it is to double the bonuses afforded by Data's Head. But it only boosts for one turn. If you can get Tijuana Crass in play, it'll play as an Event though, and that's where the real money is. Useful sometimes, I have to admit. A 3.1.

TOTAL: 11.2 (56%) The very first premium card in the game turns out to be binder fodder, more or less.

#273-Gault, Mission, Klingon, planet
Gault: Open secret inquiry on early history of Klingon foster child raised on this planet.
-Exobiology + OFFICER + Honor x2
-Span: 2; 30 points

PICTURE: Gault has a cool iciness to it that I would associate with mother Russia from which Worf's parents are originally from. And it's a surefire bet in Star Trek that colonists like to pick an environment that's most like home. A nice extrapolation gives this card a 4. (And for people who like oddities, this mission has no copyright notice. Go figure.)

LORE: They try to hide it, but this mission is about checking into Worf's childhood. Fun. On the other hand, the title is terrible. "Gault"? Just the name of the planet? That's a little uninspired. How about Secret Inquiry from the lore itself? Or Fact-Finding Mission? Anything is better than this. Drops to 3.1.

TREK SENSE: That the Klingons would be interested in this comes as no surprise, since Worf is an influent member of Klingon society. The points are about right for a sideline mission, while the Span is a little short for a mission that sits (as far as the Klingons go) in another "Empire". The requirements are off though. Honor? One the one hand, maybe it's "good" Klingons who are checking things out about their brother. On the other, would honorable Klingons open a SECRET investigation. What are they checking out here exactly? What's the information going to give them? An Officer might be required for giving orders. In other words, the Empire only trusted an Officer with the real reasons for the mission. That's okay. The Exobiology... again, I'm a little lost. Anthropology, sure. Exobiology? If they are taking DNA samples Worf left, that's straight Biology to them. And why would they need biological materials from the human colonists? And on missions like these, there really should be a provision for the Federation builing an Outpost close by. Attemptable by one, but belongs to another. You can guess it: a 2.1.

SEEDABILITY: Built fot the two-player game, it can be solved with just commons. In a straight game, you can Assign Mission Specialists to bring the total up to 40 points, with a couple of Honor OFFICIERs. Too bad the Klingons don't have an Exobiology specialist, or a personnel that could solve this one alone. Other than that, it accomodates armada decks with its low span (the K'Vort's aren't all that fast), and it's a failry easy, unstealable, 30 points. A 3.

TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) Makes it over the bar despite its limited design.

#301-Distress Mission, Mission, Federation/Klingon, planet
Ligos VII: Respond to distress call and beware of Ferengi activity in this sector.
-Youth x3 + CUNNING>32 OR Honor x3 + STRENGTH>36
-Span: 3; 35 points

PICTURE: A decent planet picture with subdued but rich colors, and really there's not much more to it than that. Well, the backlighting does give the impression that there's something behind there. Obviously, it's a star, but could it - metaphorically - be, the Ferengi? A 3.1.

LORE: Well, is the Ferengi activity the cause of the distress call? There are two missions at odds here, and lore keeps it unclear as to which is which. In the episode, "Rascals", the Enterprise gets called to a highly volcanic planet because Ferengi have them working in a forced labor mining operation. Why not fit the lore to the episode a little more closely? A 2.5.

TREK SENSE: Nothing wrong with span and point value, and the affiliations that can attempt it are okay. The Federation, obviously, are elligible since it's their science station. The Klingons are Federation allies of course, but Ligos VII could be close to the Klingon border to boot, since the Ferengi use Klingon birds-of-prey in the episode. Now for the requirements: they're terrible. Sure, "Rascals" had the kids on the ship (some had the minds of adults) save the day, BUT is there really a reason why this should be the mission requirement? The mission presupposes a series of dilemmas that simply aren't there, like a Ferengi takeover and beam-out of all the adults. As for the "Klingon" requirements, well, they're closer. Honor ethically allows them to save Federation citizens (and to hate the Ferengi) with Strength as their tool. Maybe Geology could have figured in. Still all over the map, this one gets a 2.8.

SEEDABILITY: Great for Assign Mission Specialists decks, both the Feds and the Klignons can stand to win 50 points from this easy mission. Just stock up on Youth or Honor specialists (both in common supply) and make sure you have the necessary attribute number. That easy. As a 35-pointer, it's a good mission, more for the Klingons, I suspect, since they have more great Honor personnel than just the mission specialists. A strong 3.7.

TOTAL: 12.1 (60.5%) A passing grade, mostly due to usefulness.

#340-Gi'ral, Personnel, Klingon
"Survivor of Khitomer massacre. Wife of Tokath. Mother of Ba'el. Raised her daughter at a Romulan prison camp in the Carraya system."
-CIVILIAN; May build a Colony at unsolved planet mission if present with Tokath. Ba'el scores double points there.

PICTURE: The powder blue wool coat, the purple turtleneck... doesn't spell success in my book. But the lighting is certainly different from that of other Klingon cards, perhaps closer to Romulan lighting, so the card stimulates some interest. That, along with the concerned look of a mother (and Gi'ral is little else), gives her a 3.1.

LORE: Standard telegraphic personnel lore, this one is a little repetitive (mother of a daughter, raised that daughter, yada yada yada), but we really don't know much about her. An even 3.

TREK SENSE: Yes, Civilian. Sure, Klingon. But there's evidence to support her being dual-aligned. I realize a Klingon/Romulan Gi'ral would have made her game text easier (too easy?) to put into action, but I'm not here to make game balance judgements. The game text itself tells quite a story. If with her husband, she (they) build a colony at any planet, without that mission's dilemmas having been cleared. The actual mission location of the Carraya colony is Sensitive Search, and it's true that the Search would happen long after the colony had been built, so ok. But it's still a little off the mark. Ba'el, the daughter, gets double points at this colony because, after all, her folks founded it, and Gi'ral was very fond of her daughter (a natural reason to boost her abilities) and wanted her to STAY at the colony. No other (real) skills? Well, I can't think of any that fit, actually. Even the old Klingon standbys like Honor don't seem to apply here. The attributes are all low, maybe too low. The Integrity reflects her marriage with a Romulan, but not how she put her daughter before herself. I have no reason to believe she was any smarter than Cunning 5, but it still looks low to me. And Strength is about right for a older Klingon woman. Heavy on storytelling, she gets a 3.6.

STOCKABILITY: Unless you want her for her wonderful attributes, you're gonna have to build your deck around her if she's included in your deck. More like an Event that allows you to build a Colony at an unsolved mission, she's nonetheless a personnel card. The strategy here is simple. Get her and Tokath together so you can build a Colony and get points from it without ever completing a mission. You'll need a way to report CIVILIANs quickly (they score 2 points instead of 1) and some way to get more than one affiliation into play easily. Get Gi'ral and Tokath together, then, under Red Alert, get The Emissary over there and start reporting lots of Prylar Monds all at once. Don't worry too much about the multiple affiliations there. Simply have a Neutral Outpost right next door and shuttle the personnel as they appear (Tokath could serve as pilot once the Colony is built). Also, Spacedoor a small ship to that outpost and play Memory Wipe on it. Then, personnel aboard are all considered to be Non-Aligned, as are their Away Teams (leave the ship in orbit). Just report and board, report and board. And don't forget to include 4 point Ba'el. If you can get all the right cards into play quickly, you could be looking at a 10 turn win as long as you can keep your opponent from interfering with your plans. Cheese? That was then, this is now: the strategy has gotten riskier of late with the appearance of a couple of counters to this. One is The Wake of the Borg, which gives you only a turn's notice before all cards there are destroyed. Ouch! With your CIVILIAN-only deck, I doubt you can convert your strategy to mission solving. The thing is, there's no limit to the number of Colonies Gi'ral and Tokath can build, so just uproot the Colony and move over to the next unsolved mission. Make sure you stock a second Colony, and hope your opponent doesn't have a second Wake (he shouldn't). Intermix Ratio can also kill your strategy, so watch out. And The Big Picture likewise ruins everything. Limited to one function, but it's a strong one. Stunt decks only: a 3.5.

TOTAL: 13.2 (66%) More interesting than the Federation premiums in the same 2-player set.

#380-Gravesworld, Mission, Federation, planet
Gravesworld: Investigate distress call received from lab of Dr. Ira Graves here.
-Span: 5; 30 points

PICTURE: One of the few saturnine planets in the game (still waiting for the one in TNG's opening sequence), it's rather badly painted. The colors are terrible and the nebulous purple cloud in the background just looks dirty. Distinctive planet, but badly executed. A 1.8.

LORE: The title isn't inspired, is it? I mean, I'd rather have a mission called Gravesworld than one called Vilmor II, but still. The lore itself is the usual. A 2.8.

TREK SENSE: The best thing about this mission is its Span. Ira Graves was a recluse, so he built his lab as far away as he could (5 span away). That's why I think affiliations other than the Federation could have answered his distress call. Not the truly evil ones, but friendlier neighbors. Unless Ira's on the border between the Federation and the edge of the galaxy? My comment is also based on the fact that Ira Graves is Non-Aligned. MEDICAL is obviously there in case the distress call was made due to a medical emergency. OFFICER? You'll need his or her authority to attempt the mission because of the sensitive nature of the lab's experiments (I may be stretching). And Physics, what, in case the distress call was due to an experiment gone wrong? The mission does well not to mention Ira Graves' presence on the planet (in case he's in play and out there), but it really doesn't focus the card's requirements in any one area. We don't know WHAT the Away Team is supposed to do there. The points are a bit high too for those requirements. 2.4 here.

SEEDABILITY: One affiliation, but the most spyable. 30 points for easy requirements, never bad. Span that may be long, but could work to the Federation's advantage since they have some really fast ships. You won't find all three skills on the same Federation personnel though. Toby Russel can do it with an accompanying OFFICER. Or Keogh, Jace Micheals and a couple of others can do it with any MEDICAL, but no one has all three. It's also too bad that AMS won't bring in more than +5 here (for Physics). Too fuzzy to really be included with any regularity. A 2.9.

TOTAL: 9.9 (49.9%) Sure, it's fine in the 2-player game, but this is the *real* world.

#420-Homeward, Mission, Federation, planet
Boral II: Aid study of primitive culture on planet threatened by intense radiation storms.
-Anthopology + Computer Skill
-Span: 3; 25 points

PICTURE: Just an ugly piece of rock as far as I'm concerned. Looks just like the one on the show, but what's that purple gas swirling around? Many of the 2-player game missions have this. It just adds to the ugly. A 1.3.

LORE: Yes, the lore details Nikolai Rozhenko's mission (or actually, the Enterprise's, it says "aid"), but what's with that title? The title of the episode doesn't fit AT ALL here! It would fit the follow-up mission, and would have to include another planet location to really work. The mismatch brings this one down to a 2.

TREK SENSE: The basics of the card, I have nothing against. So the attempting affiliation, points, span and planet icon are fine. The requirements of course require Anthropology as this is exactly that type of mission. But what's Computer Skill doing here? I assume it's for programing the holodeck to create a replica of these people's environment, but that's mixing the missions again! If we're to follow the lore, that doesn't work. And what if the ship has no Holodeck? Hmm? If not this, then what is Computer Skill for? Not just writing reports 'cuz most missions would require the skill. The MEDICAL required to perform plastic surgery on your operatives would have fit better here. But nope, this one scores a 2.3.

SEEDABILITY: Oddly enough, only Nikolai Rozhenko has both skills to do this one singly for the Federation. The Non-Aligned Kalita can fill in for him, and Elim Garak can steal it. That's not many personnel for the quick mission-solving deck (and for the Feds, not terribly good personnel at that). For mission specialist decks, it's better, as the Feds have specialists in both skills. 35 points for an easy mission. Not bad. But there are better ways to spend your time than on this one. Better than average, but not by much. 3.5.

TOTAL: 10.1 (50.5%) Premiere had mistakes in it, but the 2-player game made many more errors.

#461-Hostage Situation, Mission, planet, Federation/Klingon
Mordan IV: Coordinate with local authorities to free captives held hostage.
-Span: 3; 25 points

PICTURE: The orange planet seen in the episode "Too Short a Season", which in itself is not a bad picture, if a bit blurry around the top. I have to wonder what those purple mists are doing on all those 2player missions though. It's not like they link up to make a big picture. Just 2.6.

LORE: Not bad lore. Not great lore. The usual mission lore. Average. That means 3.

TREK SENSE: Well, in the show, it HAD to be Mark Jamison that went to the planet. It HAD to be. They made a big deal about it. So where is he on this card? And where's the Diplomacy you'd think was necessary? Well, maybe since Jamison is a given, he's already there, and you're just helping out providing Security and Medical attention (because of his illness or youth treatments, your pick). The Integrity is just about all there is here that's related to diplomatic skills. If I argue that Jamison is already here though, it makes no sense that the Klingons would get involved. I don't see why they would get involved at all at this planet, Jamison or not. What do Klingons care about hostages? Without Jamison, the mission can be made to make some sense with the Security breaking out the captives, and the Medical taking care of any wounds. It's possible. The points are low for what should be a sensitive mission, but seeing as the requirements are fairly easy, I won't gripe too much. Like a lot of missions from the 2player game, nothing really pushes the envelope. A 2.8.

SEEDABILITY: The hallmark of the 2player missions is that the requirements are easy. Here, the points aren't too hot either. 25 is well under the Borg's assimilation needs and the espionage limit set by Fair Play, WELL under. Is it worth it? Worf Son of Mogh can give you the SECURITY in one fell swoop, and Margh has the MED/SEC to make this go faster for the Klingons. The Feds have George Primmin (SEC x2) and loads of MEDICALs. In the Non-Aligned help section, you'll find Suna has the SEC/MED combo, but that's it. Not that cost-effective at 2.7.

TOTAL: 11.1 (55.5%) And they call these PREMIUMS?!? ;-)

#506-Ja'rod, Personnel, Klingon, AU
"Father of Duras, Lursa and B'Etor. Disappeared shortly after transmitting security codes to the Romulans, precipitating the Khitomer massacre."
-VIP, Treachery x2, Leadership x½, ENGINEER, Computer Skill; Attributes all +5 if with Toral; Command icon

PICTURE: These completely CGIed Klingons are way better than the Borg Counterparts, I tell ya. Which doesn't mean Ja'rod's perfect (not as good as Mogh anyway), he looks a little odd. But there's a fair try at combining the features of Duras, Toral and the Sisters Duras into one face. The lips might be Lursa's or Toral's, maybe B'Etor's; the eyes seem to be B'Etor's; the beard looks like Duras's after a haircut; and the cheekbones are most definitely Lursa's. The family headplate makes it clearer than the rest of the features, of course. I do like the costume with its red badges, and the very Klingon background. Those infernal fires make Ja'rod seem all the more evil. A cool 4.4.

LORE: We don't know much about this guy, so I guess all the available information's there. Also makes it sound like there's a chance he's still alive, like some Nazi in South America or something. All that's missing is his family relationship to Toral and duties in the High Council. A so-so 3.3.

TREK SENSE: This Klingon is AU because by the time we hit the TNG timeframe, he's been dead (or gone) 20 years. It does make it seem odd that he would get a boost from working with his grandson, especially since he's never known him, but I guess finding out you've left a legacy (after going through that portal to the future) would bolster your pride. Pride yes, but here all attributes jump by an enormous 5! That's too much for Trek Sense to stand. The Integrity in particular... he joins evil forces with another Duras, and suddenly he's at 7 Integrity? That he's a VIP, I have no doubt, since he's a powerful land owner and part of the High Council. The double Treachery makes sense since he's the seminal traitor. In fact, it's too bad he's not dual-aligned with the Romulans. The half-Leadership, while meant to complete Toral's has no real Trek Sense value... He probably deserves a full Leadership (at least the Command icon is there). It's cute, not much else. Transmitting those security codes requires Computer Skill sure, and maybe SECURITY instead of ENGINEER. Why the ENGINEER anyway? Nothing proven, but maybe there was sabotage at Khitomer too. The Integrity is correct at its dismal two, the Cunning probably way too low (his plan did succeed even if it was wrong-headed) and the Strength a very competent 8. No problem on that last one. But some problems on others: a 3.2.

STOCKABILITY: His relationship to Toral really kills his usefulness. Sure, he's multi-skilled. Computer Skill is always useful, ENGINEER, never a waste. And Treachery x2 can help with rare Klingon Treachery decks (half the requirements on Secret Salvage for example). But the fact that Leadership x½ is useless without another x½ around (Toral) makes that particular skill void. Ja'rod can't even initiate a battle! Not without his grandson. And while an incentive exists to use Total - basically that he boosts Ja'rod's attributes to 7-10-13, you still have to drag along a lame personnel like Toral around! No good. His AU icon will have some use in staffing the large AU ships, so there is a reason to bring him along, but he might be, along with K'mtar, the least useful Klingon AU in the bunch. My Cryosatellite would have a Governor Worf, a Mogh and a K'chiQ way before it would ever have a Ja'rod. Not that bad, but with lame attributes, awful special skills and only a few actually useful skills, he only gets a 3.1 from me.

TOTAL: 14 (70%) Quite sure Mogh will do much better.

#551-Mogh, Personnel, Klingon, AU
"Father of Worf and Kurn. Followed the traitor Ja'rod to Khitomer, suspecting him of conspiring with Romulans. Rumored to have survived the massacre."
-VIP, SECURITY, Leadership, Honor x2, Computer Skill, Archaeology, Music; Command icon

PICTURE: Cool CGI gives us what could quite possibly have been Worf's dad. How? Combine features from both Worf (the lower face, mouth) and Kurn (the eyes), add some Klingon armor and the family forehead, and you've got the recipe for Mogh. Looks friendly, but tough, and stands in front of an appropriately colored background. Ja'rod suffered from some fuzzy digitization, and the Borg counterparts are right down silly, but Mogh is excellent and seamless. A 4.7.

LORE: Fairly standard lore which blends family relationships, history and a little something from "Birthright". The rumors make the character more actual, which is a good thing. They could at least have mentioned the High Council, but no. A 3.3 here.

TREK SENSE: It's not like we know much about Mogh, since he was long dead when TNG started, but some things seem believable. The AU icon is because he lived in another time. The VIP because he was head of a Klingon House. Leadership and a Command icon follow the same logic. He has his son's double Honor, which goes unimpeached here. Computer Skill and Security are based on his discovering Ja'rod's treachery (he transmitted security codes to the Romulans). The rest stands unsupported for now (and probably forever). Music isn't too far-fetched since many Klingons sing the deeds of Kahless and other legendary Klingons. Archaeology? I dunno. All I can think is that he somehow transmitted Klingon values and the stories of Kahless to his young son via those two last skills. Smacks more of Anthropology though. High Integrity and Strength is perfect, but the Cunning could have been higher for discovering Ja'rod's plan. Still, Ja'rod has a lame 5 Cunning and wasn't actually outwitted here. One thing that's missing is a nemesis icon matching one that could have been on Ja'rod. A real natural, but the mechanic didn't yet exist. Ah well... A simple 3.5.

STOCKABILITY: One of the few Klingons with 6 skills, Mogh is a great personnel to include in your mission solving attempts. Dual-classification is always useful for Kurlan Naiskos, even if VIP isn't that much in demand. SECURITY is quite good on the other hand. His Leadership enables attacks. His Honor will help solve plenty of Klingon missions. Computer Skill is a staple skill. Music will help Ressikan Flute decks. And Archaeology is a fairly rare skill that might come in handy in some situations (The Charybdis keeping you from the Sword of Kahless?), but isn't too useful to the Klingons. Great INTEGRITY and even better STRENGTH is always good. The AU icon is at once a boon and a disadvantage: it'll allow you to staff the huge Klingon Voo'diehs, but at the same requires you to use a special reporting engine (Space-Time Portal or AU Door). Mogh fits well into a Cryosatellite, perhaps with his Governor son and another AU, plus the Sword of Kahless which their Honor can take advantage of. A good mix of abilities without being a game breaker at 3.8.

TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) The reason Decipher probably sold more Klingon versions of the 2-player game than Federation boxes.

#596-Reopen Dig, Mission, planet, Klingon
Denius III: Revive excavation and seek rumored clues to Iconian artifacts.
-Archaeology + OFFICER x2
-Span: 4, 25 points

PICTURE: The planet's picture itself is total invention on the part of Decipher, and I dare say it's a nice one. The way the moons cast a shadow on the planet's atmosphere below - great stuff. And those shadows even allude to those dig sites below, don't they? The only real problem here is that the planet seems to be some kind of gas giant (like Jupiter), and those planets can't exactly support a civilization, even one in ruins. A coloful and well done image, but of course, not perfect. A 3.9.

LORE: A little disjointed for my tastes. "Seeking rumored clues to artifacts"... Wasn't there a better way to say this? Something that wouldn't make the mission sound like a wild goose chase perhaps? There are no artifacts here, just clues to them, and maybe not, we're just going by rumors... Maybe mention the star map specifically? Not as bad as I make it sound, but not a winner. A 2.9.

TREK SENSE: While Donald Varley fixes the Trek Sense as to make this mission attemptable by Feds (which they did), there's no evidence the Klingons would be interested. Nothing that says the planet sits in Klingon space either. And it's RE-open Dig, meaning they've dug there before. Otherwise, Archaeology is of course a natural here. Two Officers possibly refers to the authorizations needed to reopen said dig (after all, it was closed for a reason), but doesn't make a lot of sense. Why two? Can't the one Officer authorize it? Really looks mismatched, and smells like they just made missions that went with what the common personnel had (since that's all you could get in the pre-fabricated 2-player game decks). 25 points for this mission is about right given the difficulty and relevance (chasing rumors), and a 4 Span is a little far away, which is also good. Only gets up to a 2.8.

SEEDABILITY: Looks like a simple enough mission right? For the Klingons or Donald Varley's Feds, right? Wrong. The small requirements nevertheless need at least 2 personnel, if not 3, and for 25 points, that's not particularly good. The only Klingon with both OFFICER and Archaeology is Nu'Daq, so you'll need to pair him up with another. The Feds have more, but you still need Varley in play just to enable the attempt (use him for the attempt too). And while 25-pointers are protected from assimilation, and even mission theft with Fair Play, the best thing is when you can use mission specialists to up those points. Not much chance of doing that here with OFFICER never being a mission specialty. Dukath (or Dr. Royce) will be able to up it to 30 points, but that's it. Not a hot Archaeology deck seed card, especially for the less-than-interested Klingons. A 2.4.

TOTAL: 12 (60%) And you're telling me the 2-player game hasn't been sold out yet?

#641-Reported Activity, Mission, planet, Federation/Klingon
Xendi Sabu: Probe reports of mysterious Ferengi activity in this sector.
-Navigation + Honor x2 OR Navigation + ENGINEERING x2
-Span: 3; 35 points

PICTURE: Pink, huh? That said, it's not a bad planet, obviously produced by polarizing a differently colored image (at least, it seems obvious to me from the details). The episode it appears in ("The Battle") leads me to believe a purple mist should be in the background (funny, a lot of other 2-player game missions have that mist). Basic, but recognizable at 2.9.

LORE: Kinda average, I suppose. I don't particularly like the formulation, whether it be "probe reports" or confusing one planet with a sector. None of it is wrong, mind you, it's just a bit choppy, and helps the Trek Sense not at all. A 2.8 from me.

TREK SENSE: Pretty bad. First of all, this is the system where Bok "gave" Picard the Stargazer, so the planet has very little to do with the mission. I don't even think the Ferengi even used the planet as a setting stage. Mission requirements like Engineering really point to the Stargazer affair, which wasn't an on-planet mission, nor is Navigation a very viable planet mission requirement. That said, the choice of both Federation and Klingon to come and check out the Reported Activity is fine, I suppose, though the points seem a little high for just a check-up. As for the requirements, there are two possible sets. One requires Navigation (why? to get there? to pilot the Stargazer? ridiculous) and a double dose of Honor (this, probably to resist the Ferengi offerings). Basically, it's just a way for the universal Klingons to do this one. The Federation will be more interested in replacing the 2 Honor with 2 Engineering. ENGINEERING? Who worked on these cards? People apparently ignorant of the 363 Premiere cards! Errata aside, I've kept the wording here because I do believe such a boneheaded mistake should be punished. The 2 Engineers apparently also help work on the given ship. This is bad all over people. Had it been a space mission, the score would have been lukewarm. As is, a terrible 1.3. Good thing I was ambivalent about the Span.

SEEDABILITY: Easy requirements with a better than average 35 points? Not bad. The saving grace of this mission is that the difficulty/points ratio is great, and that both affiliations have 2 mission specialists with the required double skills (the Klingon twins Gorath and Kle'eg, and the Leah Brahms girls) AND Navigation specialists too, possibly boosting the points to 50, no problem. Don't want to go the AMS route? Geordi'll coast through the requirements alone, as would Worf and some others. Piece of cake. A mission worth seeding (and protecting) at 3.8.

TOTAL: 10.8 (54%) Not useless, and that's all that saves it from a humiliating score.

#691-Sensitive Search, Mission, planet, Federation/Klingon/Romulan
Nequencia System: Investigate reports of politically "sensitive" activities by an information dealer in sector.
-Computer Skill + CUNNING>28
-Span: 4, 30 points

PICTURE: This mission from the warp pack, then the 2-player game, was always one I liked. There's a lot of surface and atmospheric detail to it, it looks almost Jovian with that eye (a storm?), and has an interesting color scheme, especially the turquoise and green. A beauty at 3.5.

LORE: This the other system visited by Jaglom Shrek in "Birthright" (other than Carraya where he left Worf), but the system shouldn't be mentioned on the card, only the planet should. Unless they meant this to be a space mission, which they didn't. The lore goes on to say "in this sector" which isn't as misleading as it sounds - Shrek operated all over the sector but landed here - but isn't necessarily any good either. The repeat of "sensitive" has me wonder if there's a play on words in the title, but I either can't find it, or don't think it's funny. And did you know this place was close to the Neutral Zone? If you did, you didn't get it here. A 2.6.

TREK SENSE: The idea is to only investigate reports of one guy's activities, and all it seems to take is a little brains and Computer Skill. I understand this is a good skill to do research, but wouldn't it be just as appropriate to put Security in there? Maybe the nebulous nature of the mission objectives makes it difficult to evaluate, but I'm not too impressed by the points. This really reads like a 25-point mission, both in importance and difficulty. The one thing I like is the affiliation icons: it's one of the rare Fed/Kli/Rom missions that really does deserve to have all three on there. Too often, one of the affiliations is placed on there because, well, why not? Studies and Investigations, that sort of thing, which could interest everybody, but didn't really in the episode. As part of Worf's search for the Romulan prison camp that may still have held his Klignon father, it did involve all three affiliations. Span's okay too. Nothing really wrong with it (even the thing with the Neutral Zone, since "near" shouldn't be "in"), but not tightly focused enough. A 3.2.

SEEDABILITY: Way too easy to steal, I'm afraid. I'd protect it with Fair Play if I were you. It's a very easy 30 points, though not as good as many such missions because it only has one required skill, limiting mission specialist points to 5 (for 35 points). Computer Skill is a VERY common skill if you just want the points fast, and that CUNNING requirement won't even be difficult for the Klingons, and ridiculous for the Romulans and Feds. Computer Skill mission specialists include Barclay and Hobson for the Feds, the Romulans have Palteth, and the Klingons will have to settle for Non-Aligned Narik. Lukewarm at 3.3.

TOTAL: 12.6 (63%) Easily solved, easily stolen, and easily forgotten.

#741-Spock, Personnel, Federation
"½ Vulcan, ½ Human son of Sarek and Amanda Grayson. Over 140-year-old ambassador. On private mission to Romulus. Mindmelded with Picard."
-VIP, Diplomacy x2, Computer Skill, Leadership, SCIENCE, Mindmeld; Command icon

PICTURE: Now, see, no, this composition doesn't work. It's that black triangle pushing down the Spock image, setting him aside and taking away from his centrality. As for the pose, it's a classic one, with the "live long and prosper" hand gesture, but the colors and expression are a little lackluster. I always thought Spock was more than gray logic. A 2.7 because of these flaws.

LORE: Telegraphic lore only does so much, but here, both his species are mentioned, as is his status as an ambassador (for use with Office of the President). The rest is workmanlike at best, and that specific mindmeld... is that akin to a "romantically involved" comment? ;-). A fair 3.3.

TREK SENSE: If you compare him to the younger Mr. Spock (though I won't do much of that here given that he was released long before his younger persona), you'll find that Spock's not as strong as he used be, and that a number of his skills have fallen in disuse due to his role as a diplomat rather than a Starfleet officer. That makes the VIP and Diplomacy quite natural, that last one at x2 since he's negotiating with the enemy and doing well. The Leadership is deserved, since he led the Romulan underground movement (or was one of its leaders). The Command icon doesn't necessarily follow though. At this point in his life, he's resigned his Starfleet commission, and though you probably never forget how to command a ship, compare him to another commander in a non-command role, Lt. Sisko. Staff there, and Spock shouldn't get any higher here. Computer Skill was shown in the episode, and you can't take that much Science out of a man. Mindmeld, also shown in the episode, is a mainstay of Vulcan personnel (why Mindmeld-related cards just don't say "Vulcan" and leave it at that, I don't know... though the Horta changes things). The attributes look good. Trying to work out a peace with the Romulans would indeed require extreme Integrity, he's one of the smartest Star Trek characters ever, and Vulcan super-Strength drops a little because of age. Not especially inspired, but makes few mistakes - a 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: 5 skills is usually a good thing, though you can't count Mindmeld as a full-fledged skill (not yet anyway). Still waiting on those Mindmeld missions and dilemmas (more of them). But the hidden skills "Vulcan" ain't half-bad (use of Nerve Pinch, etc.), so it probably comes out even. The double Diplomacy is great for Diplomacy decks, as well as passing Q-Nets alone. Computer Skill is an always useful skill. Leadership is also good, especially in the absence of OFFICER. VIP's not that great as far as classifications go, but the extra SCIENCE is always welcome. And then, there's the great attributes! He's an ambassador who'll report for free at Office of the President, one of the better personnel to do so. While in the Earth region, why not go solve Reunion which specifically asks for him as a requirement. Alone, that's just a fast 15 points, but with a couple of others (another of which reports for free at the Office), that can go up to 40 points. Agricultural Assessment also asks for a Spock (any Spock) so he can solve that one alone. And just imagine how cool it would be to have all 3 Spocks in play together (TNG, TOS and Mirror)... I'm getting Parallax fever just thinking about this little SCIENCE squadron. A 3.9 here too.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) A classic card, but not spectacularly designed.

#805-Survey Instability, Mission, planet, Federation
Selcundi Drema Sector: Study this "live fast, die hard" volcanic planet in this sector.
-Geology + STRENGTH>35
-Span: 3; 25 points

PICTURE: Though I can't believe anyone could live here, that's how the show pictured the planet, and I like both the slight spin it seems to have and atmospherics which go a little beyond the edges of the sphere, both of which contribute in my mind to that certain blurriness. A cool enough (heheh) 3.4.

LORE: Arrrgh. No. Nope. Not at all. If this is a planet mission, why mention the whole sector? It makes it sound like a space mission, then forces the lore to mention "in this sector" again, compounding the mistake. It's not like the planet wasn't mentioned as Drema IV (unless it's one of the similar, yet uninhabited worlds in the system). The phrase in quotation marks is appreciated flavor, but seems out of place in mission lore. Especially since it makes it plain that such a world would have a hard time developing intelligent life (i.e. Sarjenka's people). (Again, if it's not Drema IV, my appologies.) Title's not that focused either. No more than a 2.

TREK SENSE: Studying a highly-volcanic planet would indeed require Geology, and while one is fine, maybe there could have been work for more than one. Then, there's Strength. Hmm. Well, while such a mission would probably be conducted from the ship (making it a space mission, which it isn't here), an Away Team could be used to gather samples, make direct observations, etc. That Away Team would need a minimum of Strength just to survive the harsh environment, I suppose. It works, though the designers seemed to have missed the point of the episode in which the planet appeared: the moral dilemma of leaving people on a dying planet to their own devices (a theme revisited in "Homeward"). That would have led to an Integrity requirement. Otherwise, I'll only object at the Federation's monopoly on the mission. While it may sit in Federation space somewhere, these purely scientific missions should be open to neighbors such as the Klingons and Romulans, no? Mostly, this thing's unimpressive, though it makes a modicum of sense. Maybe... 3.1?

SEEDABILITY: Sounds pretty easy, and those 25 points can be upped to 30 by using mission specialist Inge Eiger, but with all that attendent STRENGTH you also have to bring along (not necessarily the Federation's strength, if you know what I mean), it's not so easy a mission for those lame 25-30 points. More skill requirements would have upped those AMS points. As is, you can look forward to a Fair Play-protected mission that can't be assimilated by the Borg. Yawn. A middling, though below average, 2.7.

TOTAL: 11.2 (56%) Your usual 2-player fare.

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