Siskoid's Rolodex.......The Motion Pictures (6)

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


#2425-St. John Talbot, Personnel, Federation, AU, CF, TMP

"Ambassador to the worthless lump or rock known as Nimbus III. Released the pain of his cynicism when Sybok enlisted his help in the search for Eden."

-CIVILIAN, Diplomacy, Computer Skill, Law; May work with Sybok, General Korrd, and Caithlin Dar


PICTURE: David Warner like you've never seen him before, with a cigarette in his mouth (in Star Trek!). It's like something from another genre entirely. Intriguing, but fairly blurry. An unusual 3.3.

LORE: The first sentence gives him a useful title (Ambassador) and makes use of his own attitude towards Nimbus III. Then, the cynicism in that sentence is upended to give us the second. Very nicely done, and a 3.8.

TREK SENSE: Though Ambassadors are usually VIPs, I like that he's only a Civilian. It really makes the Nimbus III posting one you only get when you fall out of favor. At least Korrd was a general, and Caithlin was an eager new arrival. Talbot still has the skills that come with the job, including Diplomacy and Law. Computer Skill is fairly easy to tag to anyone, and he certainly knew how to use a console. The special skill is the same as the other Nimbus III personnel, allowing them to work there together, but also with Sybok, as if their Pain had been Released prior to the game. Fine. He's got Federation Integrity mitigated by a lot of bitterness, not-too-solid Cunning to help explain how he got to this dead end job, and burly but non-fighter level Strength. Note that making him an Ambassador means he can report to the Office of the President. Does this seem right? It generally all checks out though, so how about a 3.6.

STOCKABILITY: Like the other Nimbus III personnel, Talbot is good in a Release This Pain deck because Sybok needs all the help he can get. Sure, the Vulcan can use RTP to recruit personnel, but these three already work with him and together, adding 1 to Sha Ka Ree's X without further card play. Despite the useful Law, I wouldn't really use him in any other deck, even if he can report for free to Office of the President. His other skills are as common as dirt, and his attributes extremely lackluster. A 3.2.

TOTAL: 13.9 (69.5%) You have to get up early in the morning to position yourself well in the Federation.

#2438-Starship Constitution, Ship, Federation, AU, CF, universal, TMP

"With new modifications, ships of this class were built long after the original's launch. Starfleet continued this practice of refitting older designs into the 24th century."

-Constitution Class[CF] Tractor Beam; SD Any [universal] Federation [CF] personnel


PICTURE: The movie Enterprise really is a beautiful model, so I don't mind at all that it makes a second appearance in TMP as the generic Constitution class. Sure, not as flashy as the Starship Enterprise itself, but a nice shot nonetheless, with the registry number flooded with light so that you can't tell it's ol' 1701. A pretty enough 3.5.

LORE: A good explanation of why this old class was still in use decades after its heyday in the original series, and extends that reasoning to Excelsiors, Miranda, etc. A good strategy for a universal ship. Scores a 3.5 here too.

TREK SENSE: As with the Starship Enterprise refit, all that's been added is a point in Weapons, which, given the amount of combat seen in the movies may well reflect the extent of the modifications. After all, the new engines were given to the Excelsior class, and the destruction of the Enterprise in ST III may hint at Shields that are no more than marginally better. Let's not forget that we have ships from a century later in the game, which act as attribute limits on older vessels. The Constitution can't surpass those levels. The staffing icon has been updated from OS to CF, naturally, with the same problem, namely that not all CF personnel can Staff or Command a ship. It's not a staffing icon per se, but an era icon. Be that as it may, it still does a good job of encouraging the personnel from the correct era to be aboard ship. The download works similarly, with a universal only because we don't really know anyone specific on those other Constitutions. It's a good effort with the usual hiccups. A 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: The CF era wasn't as well developed as the OS era, but you can still build a deck around it, with Camp Khitomer getting one of those cards out for free once per turn. Once a Constitution is out (Spacedooring is admittedly better), it can download all its staffing requirements, i.e. a universal CF personnel. These aren't as good as uniques, of course, but you could conceivably Perignon the ship into the Enterprise and then download a second personnel. Actually, if you also stock OS versions of the Constitution, you can swap for it, then download a universal OS personnel to the ship. It's a funky way to build a crew. Note that CF personnel can report aboard using Crew Reassignment, so switching may allow reporting of OS personnel on alternate turns. The Constitution has low attributes and no matching commander, which will always make it second fiddle to the various Enterprises, of course. Still, all Constitution-class ships get bonuses from OS Mr. Scott (boosts its attributes to 8-7-8) and can hold copies of the Columbus inside for landing strategies. No Enterprise, it's mainly relegated to the Spacedoor/Dom Perignon combo, and the score takes note of that. A 3.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) This review is dedicated to James Doohan who just passed away.

#2451-Starship Enterprise, Ship, Federation, AU, CF, TMP

"Venerable Starfleet ship refit in 2270. Completed many successful missions before being transferred to Captain Spock's command and retired for use as a training vessel."

-Constitution Class[CF] Tractor Beam; SD Crew Reassignment


PICTURE: A very good shot of the Enterprise over the newly born Genesis planet (looking not unlike Earth, I was fooled). Iconic moment from the second film. The pic does show its age with a somewhat noticeable matte line, but I can't hold that against it. A lot of effects are dated. A pretty 4.

LORE: Venerable, eh? I think the wording is quite reverent, as it should be, and Captain Spock gets added as matching commander. Good stuff. A 3.5.

TREK SENSE: The movie era Starship Enterprise converts from the OS era much the same way as the Starship Constitution did, with extra Weapons, but basically the same otherwise. This is fair enough, and you don't want to overpower those old ships compared to their 24th-century counterparts. The CF icon as a staffing icon has the same problem it usually does: Some CF personnel couldn't staff a ship, but they seem able to under this scheme. What's good about it is that it gives CF personnel a better chance of being on CF ships, which helps the game's storytelling. Certainly outweighs the problems. Instead of the usual personnel download, this ship gets a special download of Crew Reassignment. Ties in with the ship becoming a cadet-training vessel and the various characters being "reassigned". Of course, the download goes beyond that, affecting all ships in play, but I still like the reference (hey, where the Enterprise goes, the others follow). A small note on persona replacement: There can always be problems with reverse-order switching, such as a young Kirk replacing an older Kirk, and the same is true here. It's fun to refit the Enterprise, but you can also reverse-engineer it, which is weird. I don't mention it often, but it's a concern, albeit a small one. No problem with the matching commander from this point in the ship's history. I'm calling it a 3.8.

STOCKABILITY: The low attributes are counterbalanced by the ability to boost them rather easily, not just from a matching commander (choice of Captain Spock, Christopher Pike, Willard Decker and Admiral Kirk), but also from Wall of Ships (there are 2 CF Enterprises that could get that bonus), and a bunch of OS/CF personnel that can be reported aboard using the downloaded Crew Reassignment (a useful card when using multiple Enterprises, whether OS, CF, AU or FC) that specifically boost the Starships Enterprise and Constitution (Commander/Ensign Chekov, Lt. Sulu, Demora Sulu and Mr. Scott). There are also the abilities of Admiral Riker and Guinan to consider if you're running an Enterprise deck. So those attributes can go pretty high, the ship remains an easy one to staff and match commanders on, and can switch versions smoothly enough for reporting OS personnel aboard. The download helps more than the single ship. I'd say this is an excellent 4.

TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) The Enterprises tend to do well.

#2464-Starship Excelsior, Ship, Federation, AU, CF, TMP

"Unsuccessful transwarp test ship later refitted as the prototype for one of Starfleet's most durable and ubiquitous classes of ship. Commanded by Captain Sulu."

-Excelsior Class[1 CF, 1 Staff] Tractor Beam, Stellar Cartography


PICTURE: The Excelsior looks beautiful in the wake of that energy wave, a very cool moment from ST VI. Strangely enough, I remember seeing all the Excelsior dream cards with a variation of this very image, if not that exact one. I guess it's a case of giving the fans exactly what they want! :-) Hits 4.

LORE: I like how they've really covered everything from the ship's first appearance in ST III to its multiple appearances (as a class) in TNG and beyond, and in only one sentence too. Oh, and the matching commander stuff. Spells out 3.8.

TREK SENSE: The Excelsior is a bigger ship than the Enterprise of its day, so it has high staffing needs and is tougher (Shields - it did survive that shockwave). Not better Range though, since those warp experiments failed. In any case, the ship couldn't really be designed to surpass TNG's refit Excelsiors, could it? Well, that's the thing, this Exclesior's attributes MATCH the newer, universal version! No updates in over 70 years? Staffing follows the Enterprise's pattern, with a CF icon forcing storytelling, but also allowing for complete non-ship personnel to staff the ship, no problem. Amanda Grayson? Really? Of great appeal, however, is the ship's skill of Stellar Cartography. This is a cool way to say the ship (at least under Sulu's command) has an impressive Stellar Cartography package (labs, sensors) since it was on such a mission when we caught up with it at the beginning of ST VI. I see no problem with giving Ensign Bobs a collective skill like this, tied to the vessel's mission. Redeems it enough to get it to 3.2.

STOCKABILITY: With 2 possible matching commanders to Ready Room Door aboard (the forgettable Captain Styles ad the fair skill horse Captain Sulu), it shouldn't be too hard to Plaque and Log this medium-sized ship (by today's standards) to 8-9-10, much more reasonable levels. The ship is a good mission solver, offering a skill that simply cannot be filtered out of space missions. Stellar Cartography doesn't appear on many dilemmas, however, but heck, if staffed, it doesn't matter who's in the crew, it can always complete Study Stellar Collision alone! ;-) Ok, so not a huge advantage, but it is an advantage. The ship also allows CF personnel to report aboard using Crew Reassignment, plus the commander downloads, which makes it a good base to attempt missions from in a CF deck, and a good change from the various Enterprises. Not quite on that level though. A 3.2 here too.

TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) It's got an extra flourish, but I still wish they'd done a little more with it.

#2477-Subspace Shock Wave, Dilemma, space, TMP

"Dangerous aftermath of a stellar, planetary, or lunar explosion. The shock wave created by the 'incident' on Praxis was felt even beyond the boundaries of Klingon space."

-Ship is damaged and two crew members are killed (random selection) unless a Navigation personnel who has CUNNING>7 aboard. Discard dilemma.

PICTURE: Well, you're not quite sure what you're looking at, but the effect is rich and gorgeous. It would have been better if the Excelsior was being hit by it, but that might've been too close to the ship's card, and this still has a lot of strength to it. Big and intimidating. Note that it was pulled from "Flashback", not ST VI, so it is useable in the Voyager-only environment. A roiling 3.5.

LORE: We've seen such effects elsewhere than ST VI (Generations, for example, or Tin Man) and the lore tries to tie them all together. Still, the star of the show IS the Praxis explosion, and it gets more copy. Nicely written, all in all, with the ironic quotes around "incident" particularly appreciated. 3.5 again.

TREK SENSE: This is a very damaging effect with actual casualties, so to save yourself, you have to time things just right. A really smart/experienced Navigation personnel (like Sulu) is what's needed. Sounds about right, but it seems like personnel with more than one instance of Navigation, like Tom Paris, should also be considered, no? Still a very simple design that basically works. A 3.9.

SEEDABILITY: The requirement here is deceptively difficult without a PADD or other CUNNING booster, and this is one ship-damaging dilemma that actually stands a chance of hitting. Not only can it damage a ship, but it also carries a 2-kill penalty. Add a Battle Bridge side-deck, and you could kill a lot more than that! Multiple instances of Navigation do not necessarily save you here unless the CUNNING is also just right, so even powerful skill horses like Tom Paris won't do the job. Who can? Checking up on Navigation personnel with at least 8 CUNNING (so eliminating the need for skill addition or attribute boosts), we may find that each affiliation has only a few choices. Around 5 each for the Bajorans and Romulans. The Borg have much fewer, though they can boost themselves in many ways to overcome the dilemma. The Feds, of course, have more. The Cardassians, Klingons and Ferengi have no more than 3 each. The Hirogen, Kazon and Vidiians, less even than that. Non-Aligned help? Yes, more than a dozen, covering various quadrants. But will you think to include these guys? Throw in the backwards-compatible The Clown: Bitter Medicine to drop all CUNNING on Navigation personnel by 2, and you've got an unstoppable combo. Strong effect and a strong chance of hitting, I call it a 4.5.

TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) Finally some potable options to set up Abandon Ship.

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