Siskoid's Rolodex...................The Borg (6)

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Borg expansion set.


#2189-Rituals of the Hunt, Incident, TB

-Plays on your prey (any opponent's personnel); you may return incident to hand at any time. (Unique.) Know your prey. Your Hirogen who have Anthropology add prey's printed regular skills. Stalk your prey. Your equipment and [Hir] personnel may report aboard your [Hir] ships. Capture your prey. If present with prey, your Hirogen using Hirogen Talon may capture them (discard incident).

PICTURE: The Hirogen war paint makes for a striking, colorful image, though perhaps devoid of context for those who haven't seen the episodes. Still, I like it for its iconic composition. A 3.4.

LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)

TREK SENSE: The whole Know/Stalk/Capture your prey text in italics is excellent, putting a little lore in the the game text box in a way, and explain each of three effects. Your Hirogen first choose a prey, but may change preys if they see something more worthy of their hunt later. That's fine, though the Hirogen weren't always this specific, sometimes going after an entire species rather than an individual. Well, this is for those times when a prize trophy would be an individual. The Hirogen that knows his prey, much like a method actor, gains that personnel's skills. You want to know how the prey thinks, what it might do with its baggage of skills. Anthropology is the skill that relates to psychology and ethnology, so all your Hirogen so trained can act as "profilers" when it comes to prey. A big glib, of course, since you can't mimic Empathy, for example, and it's a lot of skill for the Hirogen to suddenly gain and lose, but it's a fun idea. If you stalk your prey (which is assumed even if you are never at the same location), the hunt is on. This part of the card is less satisfying, simply allow Hirogen personnel and equipment to report directly to Hirogen ships. But these guys basically live on those ships, so they should have this ability. And a hunt is always on. So it's fine without being that interesting. Finally, you can capture your prey (and it IS a problem that you are not forced to by this card). If the prey is present, you use a Talon to capture them (ending this particular hunt). A Talon? I've never understood how a bladed weapon could help you capture prey rather than kill it. Might as well use a Rifle, at least we can posit a stun setting on those. Very good at storytelling, Rituals still has some problems. Overall though, it's a successful 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: Hirogen decks sort of revolve around Hirogen Hunt, Relics of the Chase and Rituals of the Hunt. The latter allows you to exploit your prey in a number of ways, not the least of which is allowing your personnel and equipment to report directly to your ships. No need to return to outpost any longer, even if the prey is a lowly mission specialist. It's better to select a skilled personnel however, since 1) it stands a better chance of surviving dilemmas and such (so Rituals remains in play), and 2) all of its standard skills are shared with your Anthropology Hirogen. That's 5 of them, plus 2 holograms. Adding 4-6 skills to each of them helps you cut through dilemmas like butter. When you think you're done with that prey, you can always return the incident to hand and play it on another personnel. Or, alternatively, you could capture that prey (no need for a battle either) with your Hirogen Talon (you might want to start a battle just to report it, of course). With Relics of the Chase, an Alpha-Hirogen can turn that captive into bonus points equal to the personnel's highest attribute. Pindari Champion, here we come. It's not hard to get Rituals into play at all, because Hirogen Hunt downloads it in place of your card draw. That same card can get you your Alpha, and another copy will allow you to board opposing ships to be present with your prey. Very tight and tidy at 4.5.

TOTAL: 15.07 (75.33%) Makes the Hirogen even cooler.


#2203-Sabotaged Negotiations, Dilemma, planet, TB

"Kathryn Janeway convinced several Kazon majes to hold a peace conference with the Trabe leader Mabus. He in turn betrayed her trust and attempted to massacre the Kazon leadership."

-To get past, four personnel present (random selection) "attend a conference." If their total INTEGRITY<24, each one without Treachery x2 is killed.

PICTURE: Ships in space are one thing, but a better test is seeing them in the light of day within an atmosphere. The Kazon shuttle (actually of Trabe design) looks very good here, and I really like the almost middle-eastern buildings. A great shot of a guerrilla tactic here, beautifully rendered. A strong 4.2.

LORE: The story is well told, though not made particularly generic. 3.1 should do.

TREK SENSE: Something like this would make a lot of sense at Diplomacy missions, but perhaps less so elsewhere. Just imagine that you need to get together with native authorities to get permission for the mission, or stage a coup perhaps (for the military missions). Four random personnel attend, and this is a problem. Would you really randomly select your negotiators? Of course not. Also strange, albeit interesting, is the fact that you might not be able to trust your own personnel. If their total Integrity is 24 or more (an average of at least 6 per personnel), then no problem, you can't be sold out. If less than that, then there's a traitor in the mix and all negotiators are killed. Treachery x2 personnel would definitely sell out their own side, so they step out of the room and survive, showing their true colors. If there is no Treachery x2 personnel, well, who sold you out? One of the dead? That would be stupid. Someone from the other side? Likely, but then, what does this have to do with your party's Integrity? There may be an element of "loose lips sink ships" involved, with low-Integrity negotiators letting slip the location of the conference, for example, and dying as a result. And on the matter of Integrity, why DOESN'T your low-Integrity personnel not sell out his super-Integrity friends? (An average is only that: an average.) The load of questions highlights the thematic nature of many of the elements, but I like the bold ideas involved. And here you thought you could control your personnel. Tsk, tsk... Overall, a 2.9.

SEEDABILITY: Really depends on who you're facing. Sabotaged Negotiations is less likely to work against Honor decks, AQ/DQ Feds, and possibly Bajorans, but Mirror personnel, Romulans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Borg and the DQ affiliations could be in trouble. I guess we should be thankful that there are more villains than heroes in the Star Trek universe. It really depends on the initial random selection, which might get a result either way. If there are fewer than 4 personnel, then it's a wall, and your opponent would know to make sure a fourth personnel would pass the 24 INTEGRITY required on the next turn. But if this doesn't happen, and you get a good result, then all four personnel are killed. That's a great kill. The only to survive the dilemma once triggered is to have Treachery x2, reserved for 1-3 personnel per affiliation, if that (a good number of NAs adding to the mix). Probably at least 3 kills, I should say. A possible lead-in to the dilemma would be Frame of Mind, but you'd have to hope for that personnel to be selected. Vantika's Neural Pathways gives a personnel Treachery x2, so isn't as efficient. The Cardassians having Elim at this location, of course, would be best ;-). With a better than average chance of hitting, scores 3.8.

TOTAL: 14 (70%) Not much sabotage here.


#2217-Second, Personnel, Borg, Delta quadrant, TB

"Immature drone of Brunali species; irrelevant designation: Icheb. A model of efficiency, yet failed to establish order among the young drones of his hive."

-Navigation; ENGINEER, Astrophysics, Physics, Youth, Stellar Cartography; SD Divert Power; Doubles regular skills of other drones present


PICTURE: I still have issues with the green lighting used for Voyager Borg - it's too stark and apple-icious - but it does add some atmosphere in this case. Icheb's face is well split into two by the shadows and his pose is dynamic. It doesn't hurt either that you can see some Borg kids in the background. It places him in context. A good 3.6.

LORE: Quite likeable, it does a good job of describing Second's attitude and role. They found a fun, Borgish way to mention his persona too. I like it, and it gets 3.7.

TREK SENSE: One of the things that wasn't well represented on the Borg kids is the fact that they're immature drones, not yet ready to take their place in an alcove. Second is a good example, with a ton of skills, a very useful special skill, a special download and full Nav drone attributes. Looks ready to me. The only thing that's indicative of his immaturity is Youth, and that's hardly a disadvantage. That Second was a Nav drone is fine, and I think we can infer it from Icheb's Astrophysics and Stellar Cartography interests after deassimilation. These skills are here, as well as the related Physics, a skill also related to Engineer. We can accept that skill on the basis that he was trying to get the Cube back up and running, and taking care of the maturation chambers. In fact, he was trying to Divert Power from parts of the Cube, so the special download works fine, as well as being in line with his Nav duties. The special skill, however, is where the buck stops. It's more of a Communications thing, for starters, and doesn't quite work anyway. He failed to establish order, so this can't be a harmonizing of skills (à la Interlink). And affecting Borg Youth is one thing. All drones, that's quite another. No call for it. It's not that such an effect can't be pulled off by the Borg, it's just an inappropriate place to put it. I don't think the Borg kids should have had the standard drone attributes either, either because of immaturity or other behavioral anomalies. Second seemed to have a little more Integrity than First, for example. The other two are ok, but could have been individualized a little (higher Cunning, lower Strength, for example). So it starts with a very good foundation, but there's a drop at the end. Leaves us at 3.2.

STOCKABILITY: Second represents a ton of skills for passing dilemmas and other endeavors. Not only does he have highly valuable space-related skills, but also the unusual Youth (more usual now) and ENGINEER. Add to that one of every skill every drone present has, and the sky's the limit. Have an Interlink drone on top of that? There's no amount of skill you can't come up with. His subcommand icon allows him to use his special download, Divert Power to tranfer power, which may be useful on the smaller Borg vessels for the battle stats, but on Cubes to up the RANGE by borrowing from the bloated WEAPONS and SHIELDS. With more skills than any drone this side of a counterpart, Second gets a high 4.1.

TOTAL: 14.6 (73%) Not quite Icheb's score, but far above First's.

#2230-Secure Station, Mission, space, Hirogen, universal, Delta Quadrant, TB

Hirogen relay station: Guard against violations of Hirogen property.

-Alpha-Hirogen + total WEAPONS > opponent's total WEAPONS here

-Span: 2; 30 points

PICTURE: A beautiful close-up of the relay station, where you can see the wear and tear and get a feel for its age. The top part looks separated from the rest, though, like some kind of hot air balloon. This oddity isn't too hurtful, but it was a factor in determining the score of 3.8.

LORE: I'm not sure the location should be called HIROGEN relay station, since these were built by an unknown race long ago and are just USED by the Hirogen. The rest of the lore made it plain that it was a Hirogen mission already. That's my only real problem, but when you deal with short mission lore, that's a lot. Only 2.8.

TREK SENSE: The Hirogen made use of a whole network of these stations to keep their affiliation whole, so it certainly fits as a universal mission. It's possible that, at the network's antipodes, other people might use a station or two, but in the known DQ, it's the Hirogen that need to defend their property. The requirements are unusual, with an Alpha-Hirogen required as custodian. I guess this means that each Alpha has a station in his territory that must be defended. Extrapolation, but fair enough. After that, it's all about Weapons. Who has the most. Very simple. The points are standard for this kind of thing, putting a little more importance on the station than most universal missions would. And the short Span strengthens the idea of a network. Would have been great as a bimodal mission had these existed in 1E (Compromised Mission excluded, I guess). Here, it gets a high 4.2.

SEEDABILITY: The Hirogen can of course attempt "all can attempt" missions, but missions of their own? They have only 3! Good thing there's Hunting Group to turn other missions into Hirogen objectives, eh? But of those three, Secure Station is at least universal. So you can go from Station to Station with an Alpha-Hirogen (plenty of these powerful personnel to go around), get through dilemmas and score points. Of course, The Big Picture will require you to also complete a planet mission. 30 points is too low for a 3-mission win if that other mission is Hunt Alien, so you may be tempted to also use Corner Enemy Ship (40). So with one of every Hirogen mission, you do get to 100. Of course, doing a little hunting will also rack up the extra 10 points. If there's no opposition at the location, you'll always have more WEAPONS, even with only one ship. This may actually act as a lure for opposing personnel, that you then board and hunt down. Win-win. The short Span keeps everything close by in the quadrant, the better to hunt them too. You can go another way (Hunting Group, etc.), but a spaceline with one or two easy Secure Stations is quite potent. A 4.

TOTAL: 14.8 (74%) The tighter the affiliation, the more important its cards are.

Seven of Nine (Premium/TB) already reviewed.


#2241-Seventeen of Eighteen - Purification Drone, Personnel, Borg, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Task: Process acquired resources. Optimize consumption. Biological Distinctiveness: Humanoid."

-Navigation; Geology, Stellar Cartography, SCIENCE; While on your ship in the Delta Quadrant, it is RANGE +2. (Cumulative.)


PICTURE: Looks pretty diseased for a Purification Drone, but that's how it goes when you're part of a zombie-like race. All in all, an ok pic, with some nice greens in the background, but ultimately, non-descript composition and character. A 2.7.

LORE: The Identification brings a number of things to mind, but the Task clarifies just what kind of Purification this is to be. No trouble here, though "humanoid" is never very interesting. A 3.

TREK SENSE: I think its skills work well with its subcommand icon, but not especially with its stated task. Presumably, he's "purifying" (refining might have been a better term) mineral resources into fuel, engine parts, etc. Explains Geology and the Range boost afforded its ship (more on that in a minute). Science isn't excluded here, though Engineer might have been more exact. I dunno, it just seems to be an adjunct to Stellar Cartography, and that skill is totally secondary to his task. It's part of the Navigation subcommand, sure, but not really immediate to "purification". Back to the special skill, what could be the reason for the bonus only affecting ships in the DQ? Knowing the Stellar Cartography of the quadrant could have something to do with maximizing Range in that part of space, except, once again, we're off the task. Fuzzy logic takes the score down to 2.8.

STOCKABILITY: 17 of 18 has skills for both planet and space dilemmas, with SCIENCE being good anyplace. Very nice skill list for a universal drone. Better yet is the cumulative RANGE bonus, as this is the one attribute that's not hugely inflated on Borg Cubes (and their other ships). In a DQ-based deck, a couple of these drones will get you where you want to go without even relying on Transwarp Gateways. Thanks to his subcommand icon, he can also Divert Power to put more into RANGE. Good at mission solving, good enhancement, a good 3.8.

TOTAL: 12.3 (61.5%) Navigated to a slight pass.

#2253-Sinaren, Personnel, Vidiian, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Vidiian researcher. Among many who believe a cure for the phage might be found by scrutinizing extinct civilizations who were wiped out by plague."

-MEDICAL, Biology, Geology, Archaeology; staff icon


PICTURE: You know you've got a small affiliation when the same character spawns two distinct universal personnel (he's the same guy as Telari!). It's not recommended design strategy, of course, but I can see how the image selectors could get confused with background Vidiians. Different profile, different character. Sinaren here offers an ok pic, all things considered, with a simple and blocky, but effective background. A drop of a few decimals for being "second-generation", and he scores 2.7.

LORE: Total invention, and totally unrelated to his role in "Deadlock". I guess that was Telari. Our mistake! The idea that he's a researcher into the phage, and his whole line of inquiry, that's all very interesting justification for his skills. In that sense, it totally succeeds. There's also a new way to say "universal": "among many who...". Cool. A strong 4.

TREK SENSE: So Sinaren represents researchers using Archaeology to uncover Medical secrets. A very interesting way to mix these skills. Biology is an adjunct to Medical, but seeing as alien civilizations are scrutinized, Exobiology should have been the choice. Geology partners with Archaeology, meanwhile, but has little to offer the research. So a mixed bag despite the inventiveness. The Staff icon tells us that he could work aboard a ship as well as a lab, but that's to be expected. He's gotta get to these alien planets, so would make himself useful aboard a Vidiian vessel. Integrity has a streak of the desperate selfishness Vidiians are known for, but is also above average, which you'd expect from someone working to find a cure to a disease. He's smart enough to do the work, but not to succeed in any real sense. Strength is lower, since he's 1) ill and 2) a lab rat. There's a lot to like, but a couple of notes ring more falsely. A 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: In the tight affiliation that is the Vidiian Sodality, most skills only appear 3 to 5 times. All except MEDICAL, that is, which is their specialty. It's an excellent classification for them though, since Sodality allows them to report for free (to their ships if a copy is also played on that Cruiser). Archaeology is the runt of the litter, but has gained prominence due to some related dilemmas coming out of 2nd Edition. Geology and Biology are both good, of course. If it weren't for the tightness of the affiliation (which may still go off and get Non-Aligned and Sodality help, mind you), I wouldn't recommend a 3-skill personnel, but MEDICAL Sinaren fits well with the theme of most, if not all, Vidiian decks. So I'm giving him a 3.6.

TOTAL: 13.7 (68.5%) We'll have to wait to see what his twin will get.

#2265-Six of Twelve - Sentinel Drone, Personnel, Borg, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Task: Assess defensive measures. Classify. Overcome. Biological Distinctiveness: Humanoid."

-Defense; SECURITY; Where present, your Borg are each CUNNING and STRENGTH +1. (Cumulative.)


PICTURE: Nice to see a drone in an environment other than a ship interior (and yet retain the green design ethic). 6 of 12 is inside Unimatrix Zero here, if you're wondering. Wonderfully odd expression on his face. Not entirely sure what to make of him, but he definitely stands out from the crowd, which is rare for a Borg personnel. A likeable 3.5.

LORE: A fancy way to make him a guard, but he's a smart guard, if we go by his abilities and Task. Solid stuff at 3.5.

TREK SENSE: We basically have a Defense drone that guards and battles, but does so smartly, by assessing a target's strengths and weaknesses. This boosts each Borg present (himself included) by 1 to both Strength and Cunning. Interesting, though Cunning isn't much of a factor in battles. Sometimes it is though, as with Airlock. Some dilemmas might also be relevant to the ability, many would not. Security is the obvious skill here, of course. Cumulativity factor is unsurprising, being a factor of computing power. A very simple design that works some of the time, and is unjustified the rest. A 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: Obviously designed for Voyager decks that don't have access to an Assault Drone, the Sentinel Drone only gives a +1 boost to STRENGTH, but also +1 to CUNNING. As such, he's a little more well-rounded when facing dilemmas, but less effective in battle. Of course, Assault Drone's phaser-like bonus was created at a time when Cubes could be boarded by any opposing personnel. The Borg are less vulnerable these days. In large crews and Away Teams, a Sentinel will wind up adding a lot to attribute totals (the Borg's standard attributes really do need it), but you'd need more than one Sentinel to jack up each Borg individually. With their lone SECURITY skill, that may not be worth the card expenditure. With full access to the card collection, you're better off using the Assault and Unity drones to prop up your attributes. The Isotope Drone may also be of interest. Somewhat lacking, it won't go higher than 3.

TOTAL: 13.4 (67%) An example of less useful "replacement" for an FC drone.

#2277-Sullin, Personnel, Non-Aligned, Delta quadrant, TB

"Female, coelenterate life-form. Regarded by Kurros as perhaps the most gifted member of the Think Tank. Expert on temporal physics and tectonic instabilities."

-SCIENCE, SCIENCE, ENGINEER, Geology x2, Physics x2


PICTURE: The Think Tank provides some really cool and unique images to the game, being some of the most alien creations in Trek history (though I'm still waiting for that jailed tree from "The Cage"). Sullin doesn't disappoint in her watery environment. Pretty colors and shapes that admittedly sometimes blur into the shadows and glass reflections. A 3.7.

LORE: I don't know what kind of life form she is, that's all technobabble to me, but the introduction to her character (via Kurros) is fairly well done. The Think Tank is made up of Science personnel with various specialties, and their cards might as well act as their résumés. Plus, the words "Think Tank" are useful. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: The Think Tank is made up of super-Science personnel with varying expertise. In Sullin's case, it's tectonics (Geology, x2 since she's probably doing it from underwater, sensing vibrations, tasting minerals, etc.) and temporal Physics (x2, you HAVE seen how complicated that area of Physics is, right?). Since the Tank is more about coming up with solutions than pure theoretical data gathering, Engineer is a sensible skill to bring her expertise into the practical realm. Integrity's more or less arbitrary for the Tankers, but a 5 is fine. The ends justify the means for these aliens, and yet, they are more helpful than harmful. Kurros thinks she may be the most gifted member of the team, so her Cunning is quite high, though it isn't the highest on the team. I don't have a problem with the 12, but why would Kurros say this. Flattery? As for the Strength, I can't imagine her being violent and you could probably rip that jellyfish flesh to shreds with your bare hands. But while a 1 might be appropriate to that, how is she even contributing to a battle or opening a Malfunctioning Door from inside her aquarium? It probably should have been No Strength, like the immobile A.I. These are small points, however, and she still manages 3.7.

STOCKABILITY: There are two uses specific to Think Tank personnel - one is staffing their impressive ship, the other is completing Research Phage alone. Both are worthy, but the Tank is most useful as a source of SCIENCE and SCIENCE-related skills for the Delta Quadrant. Heck, if you can 'port them over to the AQ, they wouldn't be too bad there either. Super-SCIENCE personnel are much rarer than super-ENGINEERs or MEDICALs, for example. Speaking of ENGINEER, she has that too (great for the DQ). And both her SCIENCE-related skills are doubled up. A quick look at missions tells me that she'd be of major help at Restore Victims and Aftermath, maybe Geological Survey in the Alpha Quadrant, but there was no real call for multiple Physics and Geology (except to boost that last one's points) until 2E. Backwards-compatible cards Sullin can help with include Captain's Holiday, Stellar Core Fragment, Subspace Accident and Short Circuit, for example. Great CUNNING, of course, but the STRENGTH is a real Achilles' heel. Don't let her get into a fight, since even Naomi Wildman can mortally wound her. Since her skills aren't really focused on available missions, I won't go higher than 3.6.

TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Good thing there are 2E cards to prop her up a little.

#2289-Surat, Personnel, Kazon, Delta quadrant, TB

"First maje of the Kazon-Mostral. Has slyly arranged many brief - but effective - alliances with other majes against larger sects. Commands a Kazon Raider."

-OFFICER, Leadership, Treachery, Diplomacy, SECURITY, Astrophysics; Command icon


PICTURE: A totally vicious look and lighting and angle to match, Surat still has a silliness to his buckteeth and googly eyes, but they just tend to make him creepier. Definitely kudos on the lighting aspects. Almost expressionistic. A 3.8.

LORE: He has to be a Maje, of course, but the matching commander status is also welcome. The longer sentence is quite nice, qualifying his successes in life. As much as 3.6.

TREK SENSE: Majes are Officers with Leadership and a Command icon, and he adds Diplomacy to the mix to help lead other sects into battle (requiring Security) against other, larger sects (the mark of Treachery and low Integrity). Since he was in "Maneuvers" where the mission Ambush Ship was featured, I have an easy time believing he has Astrophysics. The mission doesn't require it, but seeing as it uses an ionized hydrogen cloud as cover for ships, it stands to reason that the Kazon are adept at using space phenomena to give themselves an advantage in battle. Certainly goes with his plans to go after bigger dogs than him. His Cunning is relatively high for a Kazon, again, because he has vision. And he's a warrior, so high Strength is called for. As for the Raider, we saw it on the show, though I do find command of a universal ship to be weaker as far as Trek Sense goes. Overall, the skill selection is deft, and Surat scores a 4.

STOCKABILITY: A large selection of skills and fairly good attributes would make him useful to the small, tight Kazon affiliation, but he has even more to offer. He's a Maje, so can solve Combat Training and add points to Kazon Conference (for which his skills are well-suited), though The Kazon Collective can't help you report other Mostal, since there are none. He's also matching commander of a Kazon Raider, and though he's not the only one (Culluh and Haron too), that ship is universal. You could have three of them Plaqued and Logged to 11-10-10 and staffed only by their commanders. To go back over his skills, none of them are particularly rare, especially among Majes, but he's a good backup for them all. Maybe you can sacrifice him instead of someone from a more popular sect (when using TKC) when attempting missions. Overall, I give him good marks: 3.7.

TOTAL: 15.1 (75.5%) Wiley enough to make it to the top of the heap.

#2301-T'Greth, Personnel, Klingon, Delta quadrant, TB

"Kohlar's first officer; scorned his reading of the Scrolls. Defeated in combat by Tom Paris when the Nehret set in. Cured by the Kuvah'Magh - with The Doctor's help."

-OFFICER, Leadership, Geology, Navigation, ENGINEER; Command icon


PICTURE: Can't say I find the mostly empty background inspiring, but T'Greth's festeringly bitter expression is excellent, exuding some personality, at least. Just enough for a 3.3.

LORE: Is that semi-colon really necessary? We have a lot of telegraphic lore, and I could have guessed he scorned Kohlar's reading. Whatever the complex syntax used, his whole story is here, with a convenient excuse for losing to Paris. Well, at least the cure isn't totally attributed to the Kuvah'Magh. It's like neither side can give an inch. Generates some interest, but may be a bit convoluted for no reason. A 3.4 here.

TREK SENSE: T'Greth is first Officer, so his Command icon and Leadership are natural. No Anthropology, so I'd still side with Kohlar when reading the Scrolls. What he has instead is Navigation (useful on such a long voyage), Geology (they're looking for a specific planet) and Engineer, while certainly useful in space, might have been better substituted by Transporter Skill (he took over the transporter room and beamed his men to the bridge). Uneven, but I understand they were trying to make a relatively self-sufficient DQ Klingon faction. As for the attributes, Integrity allows for the mutiny, but also the openness showed upon being cured. A 4 might have been a touch better to show his loyalty only to the Empire. Cunning has him perhaps a bit smarter than he really was, certainly not having Kohlar's vision (well, he doesn't have his 8). As for Strength, it's not up to snuff when it comes to a Klingon warrior, but that's because of the Nehret. He couldn't beat Tom Paris who has an 8 (a surprisingly high 8). Acceptable, but not as fine-tuned as I like 'em usually. A 3.

STOCKABILITY: It's possible to build a DQ Klingon deck, but you do have to supplement the actual DQ Klingons with mission specialists, support personnel, and Non-Aligned help. One thing's for sure, you do need to stock the DQ Klingons. T'Greth is one of the most prominent of these. He's no Kohlar, of course, but he's got some skills that are well tuned to DQ missions, ENGINEER especially. Any such deck would probably finish with Establish Settlement, discarding him for an extra 5 points (maximum: 55 points). Too bad he has no relevant skills for that one, but he'll no doubt get to use some while facing dilemmas. I can't say he has many skills that are rare, but he's solid, with no real flaws in the attribute department. Solid enough for a 3.4.

TOTAL: 13.1 (65.5%) Nothing sparks much interest.

#2313-Takirac, Personnel, Hirogen, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"One of the hunters serving with Karr in 2374. Accepted an optronic datacore from Kathryn Janeway in cease-fire talks, bringing holographic technology to the Hirogen."

-OFFICER, Diplomacy, Honor, Leadership; Command icon


PICTURE: Two Hirogen have been removed from this image digitally, and I'm afraid it shows. Because of the black background, Takirac has a too-well-defined edge. Good expression on him, but a rare botched job for the CGI experts. For the card's dramatic look, it manages 2.3.

LORE: "One of the..." is enough to explain universality, though it's not outright acknowledgement. His historical importance is well explained, but there's not much else here. An ordinary 3.

TREK SENSE: He's no Alpha, but had to take over for Karr, so the Officer/Leadership/Command icon scheme is sound. Maybe Leadership is more debatable, but that's it. His negotiations with Janeway bless him with Diplomacy, Honor and higher than average Integrity. His other attributes are fine for a non-Alpha. A very simple design that's very hard to impeach; as a universal, he's representative of reasonable hunters everywhere. Because there's no striving for something special here, the score will stop at 4.

STOCKABILITY: The Hirogen are the tightest of affiliations, so no skill set is redundant or unnecessary. OFFICER and Leadership are pretty common, but Takirac's the only universal with Leadership (required of 2 out of 3 Hirogen missions). As for Diplomacy, it's often required of dilemmas, and the Hirogen have only three personnel with the skill. Takirac's the only universal source for it. Honor's not required as much, but there are only 4 Hirogen with the skill, and again, Takirac's the only universal with it. Starting to sound like a broken record? Yep, a universal DipHoLe that ISN'T a redundancy. No flaws in the attribute department either. And that gets us to 3.7.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) On the low end, but not a bad personnel at all.

#2325-Tanar, Personnel, Kazon, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Kazon of the Nistrim sect. Has served aboard Culluh's ship for many years. His opinions have come to carry a bit more weight with his maje than most."

-SCIENCE, Archaeology, Biology, Anthropology; Staff icon


PICTURE: Basically an extra in the back of some scene, he looks a little like Peter Scolari to me, or perhaps Ethan Phillips. Not very Kazon-like, is what I'm trying to say. Not a bad look at the sash and broach, but really, the accountant of the Kazon world. The rest of the image was blacked out, and that's really not that impressive a CGI effect. Simply isolates the character and gives nothing more to look at. A mere 2.8.

LORE: We don't really know anything about this character except that he was one of Culluh's Nistrim. The invention here is fine, making him a long-standing member of Culluh's crew, and consequently, has built a tight relationship with his maje. I think that's well done, but doesn't really work as part of a universal's profile. Gonna go with a 3.3.

TREK SENSE: His experience and weighty opinions are carried over in the variety of skills he has, all Science-based to go with his classification. I can't really believe him as a universal with that backstory (and no acknowledgement of any kind of universality in his lore), but if we forget all that, he's an ok, well-rounded, universal Science personnel. A maje would seek out his opinions because they are people-related, though with Biology, he's more focused on the Kazon (the other sects, perhaps) than alien species. He's loyal, but still a Kazon, which explains the 6 in Integrity adequately. Cunning's a bit low, even if the Kazon are brutish. Strength's fine. Really, it's all FINE. It's just not GREAT. A case of the game text invention not quite living up to the lore invention. Scores 2.9.

STOCKABILITY: Tight affiliations have need of every skill in the book, and universals with multiple useful skills are particularly prized. Sure, Archaeology isn't the most important skill out there (though it's doing better with some 2E dilemmas that have come out), but Biology and Anthropology are way up there. Can't fault the SCIENCE, and there are no weaknesses in the attributes. Plus, he's a Nistrim, one of the more popular sects, which make him reportable through The Kazon Collective if Culluh is in play. A fine 3.5.

TOTAL: 12.5 (62.5%) I guess that's pretty low.

#2337-The Artificial Intelligence, Personnel, Non-Aligned, Delta quadrant, TB

"Inorganic, genderless Think Tank member. Has the mind of a mathematician and the soul of an artist. Interviewed Seven of Nine to assess her worthiness as a recruit."

-SCIENCE, SCIENCE, Biology, Stellar Cartography, Computer Skill x2


PICTURE: Certainly unusual to find what looks like a piece of equipment on a personnel card. Beyond that, the A.I. has an interesting design, sure, but not spectacular, and that background is dullsville (though there's something to be said for geometric patterns in this case). For the novelty, a 3.3.

LORE: Solid stuff, sometimes with an effect on gameplay (genderless and being part of the Think Tank). The next phrase is fun, and the interview mentioned in the last was unlike any interview I've been to (the people who've interviewed me have often been soulless). A strong and original 3.6.

TREK SENSE: This Think Tank member is an immobile computer, and thus has no Strength. I agree that it can't fight, use hand weapons (oops, it can use other Equipment though), etc., but would it really be defenseless against an attacker? Even the weakest child can destroy it! As a super-intelligent computer though, it has Computer Skill x2. That's standard of computer minds (think of Data), and here the genius of the thing is further exemplified in the super-high Cunning. The Think Tank is all made up of Scientists, Science x2 being quite plausible. The exact sciences chosen for the A.I. look a little arbitrary though. As a mathematician, shouldn't Physics be part of the package? Biology and Stellar Cartography aren't mathless, but they don't seem as related. Just very blah choices. The only thing I haven't mentioned is the Integrity, which shows us a machine that does good, but perhaps only for a fee. I'm ok with it. It's very hard to model a personnel as different as this, but what's here gets a 2.7.

STOCKABILITY: For super-SCIENCE personnel, look no further than the Think Tank. The DQ is well served with these guys, and the A.I.'s very high CUNNING will take care of almost half of most CUNNING requirements. His SCIENCE and related skills are good for both space and planet missions, while Computer Skill x2 has some extra uses. For example, he gets past Ferengi Ingenuity (and Alice), and can be downloaded early via Quark's Rods. Could, in fact, provide early staffing for the Think Tank's Ship. Being genderless also has its advantages, as the thing can't be targeted by Love Interests or Romances. Strength can be a problem, since any personnel can mortally wound it in a personnel battle, so it may be a good idea to stay aboard ship with this one, being those high Think Tank SHIELDS and Cloak. It's unfortunate that, of all the Think Tank, the A.I. has the least inspired skill list. It's ok, but not as good as the others. A 3.4.

TOTAL: 13 (65%) Not a very dynamic character, after all.


#2349-The Clown: Beneath the Mask, Dilemma, space/planet, TB

"The Clown was most interested in the minds of those who had truly known fear and could appreciate what he represented. He was most unreasonable when dealing with anyone less."

-To get past, one personnel must have total attributes>23.

PICTURE: A creepy clown face, it holds its own for being original, but the composition itself is lackluster. Good colors though. A 3.4.

LORE: An interesting little story, and it seems like it's the key to the game text. We'll see about that. Here, a good enough 3.2.

TREK SENSE: The Clown is the Voyager version of Chula, and suffers from the same type of problems. Namely, it just doesn't have much of a relationship to the Clown from the show, especially when you split him up into many dilemmas that don't have to be encountered at the same mission. The question becomes: do your personnel get plugged into such a simulation at multiple missions (including on their own ships, since this is space/planet)? Conceptual/thematic then. Beneath the Mask requires a personnel that has high total attributes, which would be someone, I suppose, that has known many hardships, hardships that have helped make him or her more moral, smarter or stronger. But when you overcome, nothing happens to that personnel. I the Clown is so interested in such individuals, why doesn't he at least stop them? Ok, so maybe the high-attribute personnel is that way because he or she HASN'T known fear (nothing to shake their resolve and no reason to be afraid in the first place). In that case, you'd expect the Clown to be a little more unreasonable than this. Just doesn't work, so it gets a 1.

SEEDABILITY: A very simple dilemma that requires one simple thing from a personnel - high total attributes. When I say high, I mean an average of 8 in each one. That's pretty steep. The warrior affiliations may be best suited to overcome this thanks to high STRENGTH (if not natural, then with the help of weapons), but often have less INTEGRITY or CUNNING to compensate. The Borg will definitely have trouble, as will the Ferengi, who aren't quite up to par with others in that area. One good Data is all you really need if you're a Fed, but he's not the only possibility. Since a couple of hand weapons will often do the job, you may hose Away Teams and crews that carry equipment (with Common Thief, for example) before they hit the Clown. Still, not an obvious thing to plan for. A rather useful 4.

TOTAL: 11.6 (58%) Trek Sense was the underpinning for this low score.

#2361-The Clown: My Festival, Dilemma, space/planet, TB

"The subconscious world of the Kohl settlers turned nightmarish when a character arrived to embody their anxiety and fears, playing games with them according to his own malicious rules."

-To get past, crew or Away Team must have no fewer personnel than lowest INTEGRITY present and no more personnel than highest INTEGRITY present.

PICTURE: Certainly a fun and colorful pic, with a crowd of creepy clowns and a no less creepy little lady. A fun 4.

LORE: While other Clown dilemmas speak of specific Clownish problems, My Festival seems to explain the context for all Clown dilemmas. It's well written, though I'm not a fan of the title (His Festival would have made more grammatical sense). But the lore does fine. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Like Chula, The Clown dilemmas are all part of the same encounter, and are thus hard to sensically divorce from one another. After all, how many dangerous virtual realities would you encounter over the span of multiple missions (including from the relative safety of your own ship, seeing as this is a space/planet dilemma)? In any case, I have to credit fellow cardster from Decipher's bulletin boards for its Trek Sense (thanks, buddy): "Perhaps the Integrity / party size link is one of the fears in the festival. When you're surrounded by his nightmarish crew, you wish you had some safety in numbers from your own people. Too few friends and you freak out and get stopped, but at some point, if there's too many of your pals around, you start getting paranoid about them too as they handle the bizarro world. So too many of them, and you can't get along to fight the Clown. A higher Integrity person might be able to hold a larger group together. A lower Integrity person might have less anxiety working with such a sinister menace as the Clown." Interesting stuff jawa, and I certainly can't do any better. From the near zero I was going to give it, it rises to an even 2.

SEEDABILITY: This is a funky wall that forces an Away Team or crew to whittle itself down to a number of personnel exactly between the lowest and highest INTEGRITY score present. If that's not already the case, the mission attempt is first stopped. In space, this is particularly harmful, since you might have to unload personnel somewhere before trying again. Average INTEGRITY varies between affiliations, of course, but usually range between 4 and 7. So an average Away Team would be fairly limited in the number of personnel it can use. Extreme personnel are rare, and you'll rarely come out of the 3-8 personnel range. Mega-Away Teams need not apply. For treacherous affiliations, the maximum may be rather low. For the more virtuous Feds, however, they'll have a hard time sending quasi-redshirts, since they'll need more than 4 personnel on any given missions. Dilemmas that require high attribute totals, like Q or Dal'rok, are best after this one, though any killer will likely result in the mission requirements being absent by the time they're needed. Lack of Preparation may also be nasty in this combo, especially if the mission had tons of requirements. Dilemmas to seed before My Festival include any that would drop INTEGRITY (like Bendii Syndrome, Invasive Procedures or Vole Infestation, for example). Massively useful and hard to plan around, this Festival bounces back with 4.5.

TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) Thanks for the collaboration on Trek Sense, jawajames!

#2373-The Think Tank's Ship, Ship, Non-Aligned, Delta quadrant, TB

"Advanced ship boasting technology designed by its crew, including a neutronium alloy hull, isomorphic projectors, and subspace cloaking device. Commanded by Kurros."

-Unknown Class[Think Tank personnel] Cloaking Device, Holodeck, Tractor Beam


PICTURE: This ship looks more like a space station, but that's what makes it distinctive. Unfortunately, it also makes the picture stiff and boring. A stale 3.

LORE: First, the title is extremely unartful. What was wrong with "Think Tank Vessel" or somesuch? Just seems cluttered here. "Unknown class" is just as boring. The rest is cool enough, with for-once intriguing technobabble, all designed by the crew. Ah, and they give the ship a matching commander, just to get that extra bit of usefulness into it. Despite the title, a good 3.6.

TREK SENSE: A souped-up ship, a lot of this thing's features are mentioned in its lore. The Cloaking Device, for example, and the Holodeck, as represented by the isomorphic projectors. The high Shields are in large part due to the neutronium hull. A Tractor Beam is basic equipment for a ship this size, and the speed is fine. Weapons get a much lower score because this is basically a science vessel, but it can still defend itself. On staffing matters, any of the Think Tank can pilot it, which is fine (I'm sure even some of the more alien members have a way of doing so), though the real use for this notion is to make sure the ship isn't used by other people. You always have at least one Think Tank genius there. While it would have been cool if the Cloak, et al. had been superior to the regular models somehow, we'll make do. A good, but not too original, 4.

STOCKABILITY: For a player who wants to roam the Delta Quadrant in relative protection from Kazon, Vidiians, Hirogen and Borg, this ship is a most defensive piece of cardboard. The 18 SHIELDS give it a chance to survive Borg Cube attacks, and that's if it wasn't cloaked to begin with. It's quick, and can make use of any personnel, including holograms, as long as you have at least one Think Tank personnel aboard to staff it. Just so happens these guys are quite able mission solvers, so that shouldn't be too hard to work in. Kurros might be the ideal candidate, since he can Plaque and Log the thing to 11-9-21, (though Fennim might be of use to the Vidiians). Kurros can download aboard using Ready Room Door. It'll never really be a combat vessel, but it can hold its own and at least survive in a pretty hazardous quadrant. Enough options for a 4.3.

TOTAL: 14.9 (74.5%) An unusual-looking hot rod that pays off in the end.

#2385-The Weak Will Perish, Dilemma, space/planet, TB

"During brief telepathic connections, Kes learned the purpose of Species 8472's invasion of the Delta Quadrant. As the Borg discovered, they were quite capable of carrying out their threats."

-Kills each personnel who has any printed attribute<5 and each [univ] Borg drone present. (Immune to Adapt: Negate Obstruction.)

PICTURE: The creepy Borg sculpture from Kes' vision is really cool phantasmagoria, but the pic is a bit small for us to enjoy it. Surprisingly clear, but it may lack impact. The inventiveness of the shot scores 3.6.

LORE: Mention of Species 8472 makes the dilemma vulnerable, but the story is told well enough, and you can't help but like that title. a 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Species 8472 didn't make it as personnel, but perhaps they would have been too powerful. So instead, they're a (small) series of dilemmas. The Weak Shall Perish is the big on, an invasion by Species 8472 that decimates all in its path. A bit glib, and no matter how powerful these guys are, there's something dreadfully incomplete about them attacking during a mission attempt, killing anyone that's too amoral, stupid or physically weak, i.e. that don't meet 8472's standards and just can't get out of the way, and disappearing. Very glib indeed. Borg drones all have at least 5 in each attribute, but they were the targets in the show, and still are. Those universal drones are killed too (and no way to Adapt). The Borg elements do work, so we can surmise that they were still the ones to disturb 8472 and bring them into our universe. Any other personnel are just innocent bystanders. Broad strokes hurt it, but we can't say Species 8472 isn't as scary here as it is on the show. A 3.3.

SEEDABILITY: A big Borg killer, this dilemma will decimate a Borg crew (probably stalling its ship) or Away Team in no time. The Borg kids and Seven of Nine are a saving grace, but drones have too many useful - even necessary - abilities not to be included in every Borg deck. At least they're easy to report back. To add to the difficulty, they can't Adapt to TWWP. There's always Borg Nanoprobes, so a Common Thief or somesuch should weed those out early. Other affiliations will be affected differently. Low-INTEGRITY, "evil", affiliations will be the most hard-put, with many a Romulan, Cardassian, Ferengi, Mirror Quadrant personnel, etc. taking a dive. The Feds and Ferengi might lose some low-STRENGTH personnel, while the Dominion can only count on Jem'Hadar surviving. The Hirogen probably have the best chance of survival, though Klingon Honor decks should do well too. In any case, no amount of boosting will help the personnel, since it's all about printed attributes. Though again, Borg Nanoprobes will nullify it. Still a powerful 4.4.

TOTAL: 14.7 (73.5%) Love when this thing gets flipped on my opponent's mission attempt, maybe because I love to say the title to them.

#2397-Thenelak, Personnel, Romulan, universal, TB

"Romulan female who assisted in the capture of USS Prometheus. Majored in warp theory at an academy located on a colony world 31 light-years from Romulus."

-ENGINEER, Physics; Staff icon


PICTURE: Bah. A long-faced Romulan on the beige bridge of the Prometheus. Intriguing that the uniform only has one bandolier, but otherwise quite standard. An average 3.

LORE: Universality is not acknowledged before giving this universal a little invented backstory. And that backstory is a big, big homage to Kathy McCracken, AKA Major Rakal, long-time participant in the STCCG universe, and until recently, in charge of that part of Decipher's website. See, there's this town in New York called Romulus, and it's 31 miles from Ithaca where she went to school (Cornell in chemistry, though that's not a skill in the game). Note that she "majored" in a subject, and that Thenelak is an anagram of Kathleen. Obscure? Yes, but if there ever was someone deserving of a card, it's our Major. A fun inside at 3.8.

TREK SENSE: She's a universal Engineer and a mission specialist to boot. According to her listed education, she would be a specialist in Physics. And this level, have only a Staff icon. Integrity has her loyal to the Empire, but not overly treachery-minded. She's got the Romulan smarts, but again, not an over-achiever. Strength reflects a non-military specialist in the military, and respects her size and frame. No trouble whatsoever, and this profile might well fit a host of Romulan Engineers. That said, it's not very original, so let me stop at 4.

STOCKABILITY: The Romulans gain another mission specialist and add to their ENGINEERs (which was an early weakness) with Thenelak. Attributes are merely ok, but she won't die from Firestorm at least. ENGINEER/Physics missions have exploded in the Delta Quadrant, so she can bring her bonus points there (Aftermath, Repair Null Space Catapult, etc.). In the AQ, there's still a number of relevant missions, like Cargo Rendezvous and Fissure Research. When building a mission specialist deck, you'll want as many options as possible, and she's your Physics. Hits 3.5.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) And let me pay homage to Kathy myself here, as she's always been incredibly supportive of my work.

#2410-Third and Fourth, Personnel, Borg, Delta quadrant, TB

"Immature drones of Wysanti species; irrelevant designations: Rebi and Azan. Assigned by the First to accelerate the development of new drones in their hive."

-Third: Communications; Youth, SCIENCE, Transporter Skill

-Fourth: Communications; Youth, Exobiology, Computer Skill; SD Maturation Chamber


PICTURE: An interesting David Fincher-esque color palette for the Borg twins. The full body shot makes them look more like children this way, an excellent effect, and their download is included in the frame. A good 3.7.

LORE: Their download is explained by the last phrase, and before that, there's the always amusing "irrelevant designations". Hehehe. (Yeah, so why mention them... especially since you can't stock the other version of their persona.) Gets to 3.4.

TREK SENSE: I've already done Rebi and Azan, so I'm retreading some of the same material, but I'll say again that these guys are the perfect dual-personnel card. As mindlinked twins, they really do act as one and share skills. As far as interchangeability goes, it's important to note that Third and Fourth aren't Rebi and Azan, but rather Azan and Rebi. At least, according to the skill distribution. Let's look at those: Youth is a given for these immature drones, of course. The rest include what would be necessary to take care of the Maturation Chambers, including Computer Skill and Exobiology. Third's skills are more related to the Borg's doings in the episode, such as beaming and figuring out what went wrong with their hive. Not impossible, though less focused. They are Communication drones (had to communicate not only with each other, but with the fetal drones as well) and have the relevant attributes, though there, I draw a certain line. As immature drones, I would've thought they'd have more trouble either physically or mentally. The special download is tied to their function, but as an Equipment card, there's the ridiculousness to their popping one out of their back pocket. If not on a ship, where do the Chambers come from? If you take only the effect into account, yeah, it's fine. A couple of small points hold it back at 3.4. Still good.

STOCKABILITY: One Borg card, but with combined attributes of 14-10-10, so it's especially strong in battles and with any dilemma looking for high attributes. Throw in 4 excellent skills, including a classification and the rarer Transporter Skill, plus two Communications icons, and you have a winner. The Youth could interlink for Ooby Dooby, possibly, or get you through I Hate You, but it's less important. And there's a nifty special download to get you an Equipment card that gets you universal drones in play for free (through download or otherwise). You want these boys out soon to get that engine going, although the Procurement Drone could be more easily gotten and start the ball rolling. I think 3rd&4th will principally be used for scouting attempts, with their attributes and skills package, but they're good in other areas too. A solid 3.9.

TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) 0.5 short of their former Borg selves.

#2423-Three of Nine - Tactician Drone, Personnel, Borg, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Task: Auxiliary processor of unimatrix zero one. Biological Distinctiveness: Bajoran species."

-Navigation; ENGINEER, Astrophysics, Stellar Cartography; Once each turn, may place one card from hand beneath draw deck, then draw a card


PICTURE: A creepy shot of Marika as a Borg drone, she's hardly recognizable. I like that her eye matches both her background (woods are rare for Borg) and her Navigation icon. I'll give her/it a 3.5.

LORE: Kind of dull. Makes her sound like a piece of computer hardware. And that ID is ill-fitting for a Navigation drone. A big disappointment at 1.5.

TREK SENSE: I know there's more to tactics than combat, so it's not that bad that she is a Navigation drone. As long as her skills bear it out, and they do, a mix of navigational helpers (but not Navigation itself, which is ok), and Engineer to make the Cube go (to quote a Pakled I once knew). These skills also seem to relate to her former position aboard the USS Excalibur. The card manipulation ability is very mechanical, and thus difficult to justify. The "of Nine"s all play around with cards in some way, which I guess is part of their proximity to the Queen. Resource-management makes sense that high in the system. If the lore had been a little more specific about the drone's Task, we might have something tangible. Just a 3, I'm afraid.

STOCKABILITY: All good skills, and Navigation drones are useful and easy to report, but it's the card manipulation ability that should be taken into consideration when stocking or not stocking 3 of 9. In this case, the drone takes one card in hand you don't need right away, cycles it under the draw deck (you don't lose it) and gets you a card draw. That card draw can be turned into specific downloads, as is the habit of many a Borg personnel. A very worthy ability in combination with other Borg cards, and a 4.3 here.

TOTAL: 12.3 (61.5%) Just a touch under Marika.

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