To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Trouble with Tribbles expansion set.
PICTURE 1 [Bonus]: There are two things that will apply to most Tribble pics. One, they'll be funny. The Tribbles come from a humorous episode (actually, two), and are pretty silly creatures in and of themselves. Secondly, they have that odd Classic Trek look that's at once blurry and painted. The 1960s colors don't really hurt the various regular cards (often headshots), but on cards with large close-ups, the problems tend to show up more. On the one hand, the zoom-in loses a lot of definition, then Decipher's cleaning up of the image may be the reason why there's a painted or artificial look to them. Now that that's out of the way, the first 1 Tribble picture, Bonus, has one of the most famous Tribbles on display, the one Kirk sat on. I guess he didn't expect THAT particular bonus. The pic has its comic charm, and matches the useless (at least for this game) Tribble game icon. I don't like the garish apple green however, not in this light, and Kirk's upper lip on top of the title bar is more than a little disturbing. A classic image, but execution only gets it to a 2.9.
PICTURE 2 [Discard]: The Tribble in a cup is hilarious despite the garish apple green/blue/orange color scheme. If you see the cup as a little trash can (or imagine that that is its next destination), you can see the Discard element. Simpler can be better - a 3.6.
PICTURE 3 [Go]: I don't get it. I would have thought the DS9 Tribbles would be free of the graphic problems inherent to the Original Series cards. I know they used special filters on "Trials and Tribble-ations" to match the look of "The Trouble with Tribbles", but this card featuring, I guess, Bashir "Go"-ing somewhere with a blond Tribble looks more fake than the other two. It looks like the Tribble is glowing eerily toward the top, and that ugly pink wall has a bluish wash on part of it. Not only does it look painted, it's looks badly painted. This one's not even funny. A 1.6.
LORE: N/A (Score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: 1 Tribble. It looks so harmless right? Very disarming. Well, it is! Personnel are Cunning -1 in the presence of a single Tribble (before sheer numbers turn them into a nuisance) due to the cuteness factor and appeasing purring. Some personnel will actually stop what they are doing to pet the creature. Klingons are not immune to being stopped (they stop when the Tribble starts screaming), but they don't get the Cunning minus. They are definitely NOT disarmed by these "monsters". The problems include the non-cumulative element, since we've seen them stop plenty of personnel at the same time (Uhura and Chekov, for example), and the fact that they report anywhere. Sure, it seems like they pop up anywhere (captain's chair, food slot, etc.) but those are all one location as far as the game is concerned. What would they be doing in the Gamma quadrant (alone mind you, since this is just 1 Tribble)? Seeing one smuggled onto a facility or aboard a ship could be possible, but Montana Missile Complex? You see what I mean. A well-designed card, but some things hurt. A 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: The lowest number of Tribbles to a card may seem like the runt of the pack. After all, 10 Tribbles can also report anywhere. The 1 Tribble can't breed to a higher form. And it can't cause any Trouble alone. But it still has its uses! By reporting anywhere (any planet, any ship, any facility, any quadrant, any time location), it can get your Tribbles everywhere in play. The drop in CUNNING they occasion may be minimal, but could still be annoying ("Crimson Forcefield" becomes harder to pass, for one thing, and the immune Klingons weren't so smart to begin with). The power to stop one random personnel each turn may be limited by the cumulativity rules, but since they do report anywhere, don't group them together! One on each ship, etc. will turn turn the personnel of your choice into a moron who might not want to beam to that planet, not want to partake in personnel battle, not want to get on that ship before it undocks, etc. The maximum being one per game location on the Cunning, one period on the stopping. Reporting anywhere is also important to your creating Tribble groups. You can report a Tribble card to each existing group each turn. That means that if you've drawn 3 cards from your side-deck that turn, you can only play 3 if you have 3 groups. Groups are required to play the higher card denominations (though 10 Tribbles is the better card to set that up). The small Tribble cards can be carried like equipment, so if your opponent somehow gets out of range, you can always bring it back, trying to "sell it back" to them (possibly activating that stopping mechanism). Watch out though, dropping a Tribble will stop your own personnel. And unfortunately, they can't be beamed. But that also means your opponent has to carry the thing out of a ship (and getting stopped for it) to get rid of it before more Tribbles arrive. The Tribble can always try to stop that personnel before he gets to the transporter room though ;-). Not powerful, but can be a fun random element. A 3.3.
TOTAL: Bonus-13.2 (66%); Discard-14.13 (70.67%); Go-11.47 (57.33%) Varying scores for the 3 versions, but it's the CuppaTribble that "wins" the competition.
PICTURE 1 [Bonus]: This is probably my least favorite of the three versions of the card, and oddly enough, just like with 1 Tribble, it's the DS9 image. Quark with a Tribble on his head is supposed to be funny, but it just falls flat for me. Maybe it's the too-straight composition, or the fact that the laugh is forced. I do give points for actually counting 10 Tribbles on the image, including 3 on a wall in the back and one in Morn's hand. The "bonus" is possibly that extra hat-tribble. A simple 3.
PICTURE: 2 [Go]: I also count 10 Tribbles in Scotty's arms on the Go card (and he seems to be "Go"-ing somewhere in a hurry). This one's a bit blurry and strangely colored (is Scotty wearing rouge?), but the humor is there for real. I like it for its comic yet frantic element. It's also one of the rare shots where Jimmy Doohan's missing finger shows up! A 3.7.
PICTURE: 3 [Poison]: Ah, here we go. There may not be 10 Tribbles in this one (I'm just not sure where one begins and another ends on the plate, there might be), but it's the best one of the lot. Spock is a great straight man to foist these critters on. The fact that it's on a plate goes great with the Tribble game icon "Poison", and is very humorous. I'm not sure what that giant olive with a pimento is, but it's funny in its own right and adds the right splash of color. Are there red Tribbles? Tribbles that tiny? If so, that's hilarious. A cool 4.2.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Like 1 Tribble, 10 report anywhere, and since I didn't like it on that card, I'm not gonna like it on this one either. The main problem is that though they seem to appear anywhere (in the machinery, the replicators, etc.), all those are at the same game location. There's simply no rationale for their appearing at Montana Missile Complex or in the Gamma quadrant. As for the game text, 10 Tribbles is just enough to start getting annoying, especially to the Klingons who get real agressive (translated as lower Integrity) and distracted (loss of a skill). I love the inclusion of Divok, the Klingon who studied Tribbles, to the game text, though the power he's been given is odd - I guess knowing your enemy has its uses, but this is more thematic than anything else. I don't love, however, the contention that non-Klingons are totally unaffected by 10 tribbles when one is such a nuisance. Just a 2.7 despite the Divok clause, I'm afraid.
STOCKABILITY: What hurts this card the most is that it does nothing to non-Klingons. Sure, Klingons are popping up in a number of affiliations thanks the the Non-Aligned Worf, and they're a popular affiliation, but that doesn't make it right. Against the Klingons, the INTEGRITY drain is a nuisance, but not a big one. The loss of skills though, is a bit more dangerous. Klingon mission specialists get no skills at all, while the others lose, for the most part, a lot of Honor (important to Klingon decks) and classifications (often ENGINEER). Divok fixes this, and being universal, you can have one of him at every infected location, and he's a support personnel that's more easily reported now. He'll see some use, but not much more than if this card didn't exist, so I wouldn't worry. The main function of this card is that you need it to start breeding Tribbles. From 100 up, you start seeing some more powerful game text and the ability to use Trouble cards. The 10 is still good change for use with Trouble in the Transporters though. Reporting anywhere, you won't be able to start your Tribble colonies without it. That gives it enough juice to reach 3.9.
TOTAL: Bonus-12.8 (64%); Go-13.73 (68.67%); Poison-14.4 (72%) Comparable to, but better than, the solo Tribble.
PICTURE: I see what they were trying to do, but the card's a mess as far as composition goes. What they were trying to do: The Chula scene truly applies to the risk/profit dynamic. The "players" are visible in the foreground, and Quark holds the profit in his hand. Why it's a mess: The foreground is blurry and obscures the crisper background (and subject). The colors are all over the map and really don't compliment each other well. The lines of the shaps lead our eyes right out of the picture. Quark looks a little too crazed and has what looks like a black eye... I could go on for a few more lines, but I think I justified my giving it a 2.2.
LORE: The Rule, plain and simple. Not much more to say here. A 3.
TREK SENSE: Rules of Acquisition are like philosophical nuggets that, if followed by your personnel, lead to the effects described on the card. In this case, obeying this particular rule leads to extra profit (points as opposed to Latinum, I guess there are many kinds of rewards, especially for non-Ferengi), but only if you take the riskier road. That road isn't risky (discarding the event) if you have more than 7 personnel attempting the mission for example. Mega-Away Teams aren't risking much. Redshirting however, is a riskier move for the personnel, but not for the player. That might hurt the card more if you couldn't say that sending down fewer personnel is actually LESS of a risk because you aren't risking as many people. Scanning the location beforehand also removes the risk (and the card). Makes sense. The only remaining mystery is why your opponent would lose points even as you won them. Conceptually, I suppose there might have been a bet involved (as in, your opponent plays the role of the Wadi), but that won't hold much water here. Some good, some bad - a 3.3.
STOCKABILITY: One of the good things about this Rule of Acquisition is that it can be used by anyone, and if pulled off correctly, will create a 20 point gap between yourself and your non-Borg opponent (hate those Borg!). That's 10 points for you and -10 points for them. The trick is, you can't redshirt, you can't use Scans, and you can't start the mission attempt with any more than 7 personnel. Well, some of us are already playing that way, fearing Scanner Interference, redshirt hosers and The Higher... the Fewer, so why not get the bonus points as a... well, as a bonus? And there are ways around the conditions. You can still scan the mission (albeit in a more limited fashion) with Cochrane's Telescope, Optical Implants and Science Lab, for example. You can go over the personnel limit by having Mirasta Yale join your Away Team, or by using a special download that suspends play to get youself another personnel. As a Rule card, it can be manipulated by the Ferengi Rules and the Nagus' Scepter, which is always good. Gint and Hanok can download it at a moment's notice, or download another RoA that can download more personnel, if that's what you're looking for. A kind of cheater's card, but cheating is an accepted practice in Ferengi society. If you play your cards right, the limits won't matter and the 10 (or depending on how you look at it, the 20) points will be yours. A 3.7.
TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) Sometimes, you take your chances and it doesn't pan out.
PICTURE 1 [Bonus]: Though a bit blurry, this rather funny shot of an Enterprise corridor covered with tribbles has one especially cool thing. I'm told the man leaning down to pet a tiny tribble is really David Gerrold who wrote "The Trouble with Tribbles" (and the tribble episode on the animated series). I missed the cameo on DS9, but here's a still of it, and such a guest appearance is indeed a "Bonus" for the audience. On the odd side, don't you think a trick of the light makes it seem like the tribbles in the yellow corridor are floating past like an asteroid field? A positive 3.9.
PICTURE 2 [Poison]: Unlike the other two 100 Tribbles cards, this one doesn't seem to feature a 100 or so tribbles. The image is clear, and putting the tribbles in the mess hall goes with the "Poison" denomination, but the image is a little static. Not bad though, and I like the 3-dimensional checkers game. It's a pretty funny analog to the better-known chess set. A 3.6.
PICTURE 3 [Rescue]: Looking a lot like the Bonus pic, Rescue shows a DS9 corridor instead, and this time, it's even more blurry. Still, while I don't care much for the green and brown color scheme, I admire Bashir's expression visible even at this distance, blowing air through his lips in exhasperation. Someone who could be Odo is also visible, and it's hard to tell who the other officers are in the back since their heads are cut off. Again, funny (I like that bin full of tribbles on the right), but messier composition-wise. As for the "Rescue" connection, well, the tribbles were rescued from the past to be brought to the station. A 3.5 here.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: I like the "breeders" more than I do the "report anywhere" cards. They make more sense to me. When 10 tribbles grow in number to 100, they become a real pain. 2 Leadership is suddenly needed just to keep the crew from getting distracted by the tribbles, or maybe to order people to get rid of them quickly and efficiently (though that doesn't actually work, probably since they keep breeding). On a planet, they'll overrun a Colony like nobody's business, making the place unliveable (and thus preventing the scoring of points there). My only problem is that this last penalty seems to be a bit much for only a hundred tribbles. I mean, how small IS this Colony that it becomes infested with just 100? 100 wouldn't even be that much of a problem in a single medium-sized building. Even the Leadership penalty might have better fit on the 1000 Tribbles card, and that card's game text on this one. Just an opinion of course, but makes me value this otherwise sensical card at 3.5 only.
STOCKABILITY: Obviously, 100 Tribbles is a link in a chain you'll need to get to 1000, 10 000, or 100 000 Tribbles, but more than that, it's got sometimes nasty abilities. Breeding from 10 Tribbles, which report anywhere, you can get your 100 pretty much anywhere too. Requiring mission attempts to have 2 Leadership present is like putting up a wall even before the onset of dilemmas. It certainly limits redshirting, unless that lone redshirt has a double dose of Leadership. Unprepared Away Teams and crews might be stymied by that. On the other hand, Leadership isn't a very rare skill at all, so it shouldn't be too hard to overcome the limit, especially once you've reported enough personnel to actually go out mission-solving. The mission at your outpost at the very start of the game, there maybe, but after that, the card'll prove no tribble at all, unless you have a 1000 Tribbles card there too, which should make quite a few Leaderships disappear. Dumping them at a Colony, perhaps by sending down 10 Tribbles from a ship via Trouble in the Transporters and letting them breed, will kill that facility's usefulness entirely. Good against Colonies, and probably the best hoser yet for that strategy. The 100 is also great at using Trouble cards, as it's featured on all but Trouble on the Station. In the Engine Room, 100 Tribbles will act as a small damage marker, reducing RANGE and WEAPONS by one (breeding to a 1000 might slow down the ship considerably without even affecting its RANGE). In the Transporters, it allows for propagation of Tribble groups, always useful in this kind of strategy. On the Bridge, it suspends the ship's attribute modifiers connected to its matching commander. In other words, no Captain's Log and no Defiant Dedication Plaque. If your opponent relies on these cards, especially in battle situations, you effectively make his ship -2/-3/-3. In combination with Trouble in the Engine Room, that's -3/-4/-3. And on the Defiant, -4/-4/-3. You get the point. If your opponent turns to mission solving instead, breeding to a 1000 Tribbles will hose mega-Away Teams. A good card, though more in combination with other cards than by itself. By itself, it really depends on what your opponent will do. A 3.5.
TOTAL: Bonus-14.53 (72.67%), Poison-14.13 (70.67%), Rescue-14 (70%) They're all close to each other.
PICTURE 1 [Bonus]: Not much of a difference between any of them, is there? That's a big minus, especially considering that past Tribble cards have included some measure of relevance to the Tribble icon in the corner. Here, Bonus, Discard and Rescue all have the same basic pic. That said, Bonus has the best one of the lot, showing tribbles all the way to the top of the card. That silly blue grain is more in evidence too. A 2.4.
PICTURE 2 [Discard]: Pan the camera up a little please, thanks. Here, the tribbles are in sharper focus thanks to the distance, but that dark corner of the silo isn't too interesting. A 2.3.
PICTURE 3 [Rescue]: Now bring the camera down to tribble level, ok great. The tribbles' eye view isn't too interesting. In fact, there's way too many out-of-focus tribbles, and that dark corner is there again, and just looks like wasted space. A 2.2.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Though that's not the exact math, 1,000 Tribbles breed from the smallest tribble unit that precedes it, the 100. There are so many tribbles by now, that people can't do their jobs well. That translates as the loss of the first-listed skill. It's a little arbitrary - after all, if they stop you from using Biology, why is that Exobiology any easier? How could they nullify Youth, but not Engineer? - but the limit had to be drawn somewhere. The tribbles also prevent Ooby Dooby from working. With them around, Music personnel still hiss and boo, but Youth personnel no longer have the space to dance and reenergize themselves (the card draws). See my review of Ooby Dooby for more details. Not bad, but an odd choice of function. All in all, the 1,000 get a 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: Breeding from a 100 Tribbles is only 2 steps away from having reported the basic 10 Tribbles card, so not that long a wait. By itself, its abilities are nothing to sneer at. For one thing, cutting every personnel off from its first-listed skill kills a lot of dual-classifications, a lot of Leadership and all mission specialists (and their points). Getting through dilemmas will be a lot tougher minus one skill per personnel. Its other ability hoses Ooby Dooby self-seeds, for sure, but also helps your own Oobies be more effective. Now you don't have to give your opponent card draws when she faces that dilemma, just discards. And for those self-seeders who like to get a bunch of card draws by dropping Youth on a planet, they'll just be stymied. Not that cheesy, but I hear the Borg Queen with Youth and an Interlink drone can multiply the card draws like nobody's business. Well, a 1,000 Tribbles with the Queen invalidates her skill selection, and the same Tribbles on the planet (with Queen sharing from orbit) kill the card draws. Either way, you're safe. The card is better at space missions (aboard ships) since 1,000 Tribbles can't be forcibly beamed (that is, you can't force your opponent to beam them down). You have to use Trouble in the Transporters to send over 100 Tribbles and breed from there, and by the time you've done so, the planet may already be clear. With other cards, the Tribbles have even more potential. With 100 Tribbles, the 1,000 will kill a lot of the Leadership necessary to function under the 100, for example. With 10,000, your opponent might have trouble getting all the Exobiology to attempt missions (though Exo is seldom the first-listed skill). It can use 3 out of 4 Trouble cards which is cool. In the Engine Room, it'll considerably slow down any ship without ENGINEERs (double ENGINEERs are kind of out of it with their first-listed skill taken out), and stop Ore Processing on a Nor, a powerful strategy that your opponent doesn't want opposed. On the Bridge, it hoses mega-Away Teams, still a bane to the playing environment. And on the Station, it'll spread the 100 Tribbles card (which may then breed and breed and breed) to other sites and docked ships, turning any Nor or outpost into an infested nest of trouble. Not a good way to infest mission sites, but great at infesting ships in preparation for that. With all the possible hoses AND the skill-kill, the 1,000 reach a 4 easily.
TOTAL: Bonus-13.07 (65.33%); Discard-12.93 (64.67%); Rescue-12.8 (64%) Going down?
PICTURE 1 [Go]: Most Tribble cards unfortunately have a large amount of blur, which is too bad, and I'm not even sure why this one does. It doesn't look like much of a close-up, though perhaps watching the episode again might prove me wrong. It doesn't look like there are any more Tribbles than on the 1,000 Tribbles card (this is true of all three pics), but the danger is more evident because our heroes are looking for the Tribble Bomb. All the tricorders also go well with the idea of requiring Exobiology to attempt missions here. The connection to the Tribble icon is there, though not very persuasive. It hinges on Sisko telling his crew to "Go" and get it done, maybe. A 3.6.
PICTURE 2 [Poison]: Much much sharper, I'm never very unhappy to see Sisko on a card (nor is Dax too unpleasant), this one keeps the tricorder/Tribble Bomb motif, which I like. That slab of gray wall behind them looks like terrible CGI though. Either that or the characters were matted in poorly. The Poison icon is there in spirit somewhat, with the Tribble Bomb being the "Poison", but I really think this one should have gotten "Rescue" (rescuing Kirk), while the next one should have gotten "Poison" (it's in a restaurant, like other Poisons are in the mess hall). Only 3.5 here. Still good.
PICTURE 3 [Rescue]: That blurry look is back, and indeed the colors are at times atrociously radioactive. This one does away with the tricorder element in favor of some much needed humor, with the bartender wearing a trib-coon hat, looking very depressed by state of things. The "Rescue" works like "Poison" did on the second card: tenuously. The bartender needs to be "Rescued". Yeah, right. Drops to 3.4 mostly because the visuals are muddy.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Following the same pattern, which isn't too mathematical, but is close enough I suppose, 10,000 Tribbles breed from 1,000 (the previous numbered card). When 10,000 Tribbles gum up the works, they become such a nuisance that, dilemma-like, affiliation leaders put 2 Exobiology on the case. We've got to find a way to stop their reproduction cycle! The effect on probing is more iffy however. The idea may be that there are so many Tribbles, you can't see well enough to probe, but that's very conceptual. Still, the basic idea that they impede any kind of work is sound, so it's a mix. A good job here, though it plays fast and loose at the end. A 3.6.
STOCKABILITY: Well, I must say there are fewer uses for the 10,000 furballs, but it packs a pretty hard punch so that doesn't matter much. First, it breeds from 1,000 Tribbles, making it 3 steps from the reportable 10 Tribbles. It's a long way to go, but a good mix of 100s, 1,000s and 10,000s means a real headache for your opponent: 1,000 kills a skill, and both 100 and 10,000 REQUIRE more skills be present. Exobiology isn't the first-listed as often as Leadership, but it's a rarer skill, so it's just as bad. It's almost like a portable Odo's Cousin. Players are stocking multiple Exobiology more and more since quite a few dilemmas are requiring them now, but an unprepared player will be, well, unprepared. Have you noticed most Exobiology missions only require one shot of the skill? Really though, the nastiest thing about this dilemma is the anti-probing effect. This will drive the Borg mad!!! Imagine having to abandon a Cube because it's just too infested to be able to probe for your objectives. The Borg have no choice BUT to probe to score points. This seems a bit unfair to them, but really boosts the usefulness of this Tribble card. For non-Borg opponents, it'll harm the popular Visit Cochrane Memorial strategy, just drop them on Earth. At Quark's Bar, it'll kill your Ferengi opponent's Dabo. Sniper also goes down. For the odd among you, Tribbles aren't all bad. Carrying 10,000 Tribbles will protect you from the Badlands, and up to a point, from Protection Racket. Hey, you don't need Exobiology to make cargo runs through the plasma storms! The card only works with one Trouble card, but makes for a counter against the Bajoran version of Ore Processing (there are currently few such counters). Just drop them off at the Shrine (and infesting a Nor has other uses, especially in propagating the plague into ships), and that's one card management engine down. Counters so many things (including the Borg's only means of winning the game!), I can't give it under 4.5.
TOTAL: Go-15.6 (78%); Poison-15.46 (77.33%); Rescue-14.69 (73.47%) Really close together... I guess 'cuz there are so many. ;-)
PICTURE 1 [Clone]: The classic picture of Kirk buried to the chest in tribbles is great (though I'll have to adress the duplication of that picture on the Storage Compartment Door when I get to it). There may not be 100,000 tribbles at that event (we never, ever saw that many), but the way the card's borders cuts the picture, you can't be sure there isn't a sea of tribbles there. And as the only "Clone" icon card in the lot, it's appropriate that this same picture will be duplicated on the next two cards, albeit with different buried personnel. As the "original", a 3.9. It suffers from some of the digitally added tribbles (over Kirk's head) looking a little too "fixed in time" not to look digital. Also, design-wise, and this affects all three cards, that TwT expansion icon is too close to the text on this card, making it read like it prevents [TwT] personnel from reporting. Bad mojo.
PICTURE 2 [Discard]: Worf digitally substituted for Kirk is pretty darn funny, if you ask me, and Decipher found a silly way to repeat a card when there wasn't enough material around (and repeated 6 times too, if I count the booster pack art itself). Must've taken some doing to make them look right (especially the arms), and I'm happy to say the designers went the extra mile and fiddled around with the tribbles both over and around the characters to make each card distinctive. As for Worf specifically, he *could* be present from his expression though it's hard to say. The tribbles aren't visibly reacting to him in any case. The hand looks kind of awkward, but what I like here is that the tribbles over his head are so packed together in the same color, they look like GIANT tribbles. That's what you need if you want to splatter a Klingon! As for the link to "Discard", it's tenuously there in opposition to Uhura's "Rescue". Worf hates tribbles (discard them), Uhura likes tribbles (rescue them). I admire the craftsmanship here - a 4.3.
PICTURE: 3 [Rescue]: Uhura's arms are well done in this one, but her expression makes it plain she isn't really there. Again, the tribbles themselves were altered, but the big tumbleweeds on Worf's card are still there (wish they'd gotten rid of them for the sweet Uhura). As with Kirk's card, the mid-air tribbles look too digital to be real, and indeed, the one here seems to be leaping down rather than just falling. Well made, but the card has some problems as well. A 4.1.
LORE: N/A (score will adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Though still mathematically fuzzy, I don't have any problem with the 10 for 1 breeding principle. Now, when there are this many tribbles in one spot, there's just no room for your personnel unless they shovel the furry critters out of the way. That's my way of explaining the "no report for free" ability, anyway. Cards report for free when it would be likely for them to "already be there". Tribbles keep people out of the infected facilities and territories, making them never "already there". As for the point loss to the planet mission, that's not as clear. Tribble infection seems to be a real problem (one the Klingon Empire once committed a lot of resources to), and planets that are overrun with them (though it seems to me that would take more than 100,000) could be more hostile to humanoids. So a Diplomacy Mission, for example, would be worth fewer points because the disputed land is worth less. Medical Relief is worth less because the true problem (the tribbles) remains. But in most cases, there's no real reason (and I reached for those!), so this one's gonna have to stay at 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: Strong abilities, but the big challenge will be to breed your tribbles to that point. 100,000 is 4 levels away from the 10 Tribbles that start the whole process off. But if you can get there, it makes a good counter to the reporting abilities of HQs, K-7 and (I'm sorry if I have no better shorthand for this) Quark's. Those places can be abused just as Red Alert once was. The problem remains: since personnel are mostly reported at the beginning of the game, and breeding Tribbles takes you away from that point, the counter isn't as limiting as you'd want it to be. For HQs, there's Homefront until the SECURITY personnel are there, then you let the Tribbles take over. As for the second function, -10 points on missions can be pretty evil, countering mission specialist bonuses for those who have them, and plain ol' mission points for those who don't. You could play 10 Tribbles on each planet, let them breed, causing havoc at various levels - as soon as the Away Team has the Leadership to pass 100 Tribbles, go to a 1,000, then if necessary, require Exobiology with 10,000 - and if all else fails, get them up to 100,000 for the point loss. In a sense, you're causing problems at any level your opponent attempts the mission at. You could also breed them yourself and drop 'em off with your Transporter Skill when you discover which mission your opponent is attempting. A big fat wall dilemma at each mission, and well staffed super-fast ship with Tribbles aboard is the best solution here. But being beamable, there's always the risk of your opponent simply beaming the 100,000 away, and since they have absolutely no effect on ships (unless they allow for free reporting, which is rare), not even with Trouble cards (none of which are used with this card), it's no problem keeping them there. Heck, your opponent can even go on to dump them on your own turf. A real balancing act here, at 3.3.
TOTAL: Clone-14.13 (70.67%); Discard-14.67 (73.33%); Rescue-14.4 (72%) I don't remember ever writing so much for Picture!
PICTURE: A nice, big planet to be sure, and one that could support the sky seen in the Sherman's Peak time location, but I'm a little lukewarm about it, mostly because the line of clouds on the horizon makes it seem like the planet isn't round. And is the moon necessary here? Well, it's a subtle tip of the hat to the fact the original series featured a lot of very Earth-like planets, which would mean that at night, you'd see the one moon. Distinctive enough for a 3.3.
LORE: Finds a way of mentioning the events of the original series from the point of view of more contemporary Star Treks. Cute at 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Agriculture is a complex thing, but governed by few card game skills. We're talking Geology for the soil, and Biology for everything else, from the crops themselves to the weather and ecosystem. Those two skills do it all. The two singular personnel who can do this mission alone are the ones who conducted the original assessment 100 years ago, which is an odd thing to see here. After all, this mission is meant to represent today's Sherman's Planet, but here you have these ancient requirements. "Any" Spock actually includes today's Romulus-based diplomat and, unless I'm mistaken, the Mirror universe "evil" Spock. Are these guys really the best choice for this task? I don't dispute that Spock has enough scientific knowledge in any time period or dimension to do it, just that his alternate specialties might lie elsewhere. Chekov, also assigned to the original task, claimed the Russians had first charted the planet, which might make him uniquely suited if that was actuall true. Anyway, if these two can solve the mission alone, I can name a bunch of others that, skills or no, might be included as well. And how about a Klingon to counter the Federation's Spock? Anyway, I don't really have a problem with the Romulans being invited to the party in addition to the two other affiliations since this is a century later, and the original series' explored galaxy which once seemed big, is smaller now. The Romulans are probably nearby if both the Klingons and Federation used to have to share this space. As such, it does interfere with the 4 Span... TOS locations should probably be pretty near anywhere with today's engines. Points look fine, but may be a tad high for an Assessment that was done long ago and is essentially just being redone now. All in all, I'd say 3.3 here.
SEEDABILITY: Two reasons to use this mission - looks easy to do, and home of a time location. Ok, in order then... The prospect of a one-personnel mission for 30 points might look attractive, but do you realize there's only one Geology/Biology personnel in the entire game at this point for those three affiliations? At least it's a Non-Aligned any affiliation could use: Sevek. The Feds further have a few versions of Spock, and Ensign Chekov that could do it despite the fact they have neither of the skills. Going the mission specialist route for 40 points will be possible for the Feds, but the other two will have to settle for using only Biology (35 points). So not so easy after all. As the location for Sherman's Peak, it'll give you access to all the non-Mirror Original Series personnel and ships whether you have an Alternate Universe Door or not, as well as download K-7 and Organian Peace Treaty. It's also required if you want to play Hero of the Empire, and give your Klingons a point advantage. Coming back to the present once this is done makes this mission worth 40 points right off the bat for example (and only 20 to your opponent). The fact that OS personnel essentially report here but for the lack of a time travel method makes getting Spock or Chekov here much easier. OS Equipment can also get you the appropriate skills even without the named personnel. It becomes a "well, while we're here, why not..." situation. In a sense, it approaches the status of a homeworld - a 4.
TOTAL: 14.1 (70.5%) Bears fruit.
PICTURE: Boooooring... Just a non-descript Jem'Hadar standing in Quark's, which isn't even a very Jem'Hadar-like place. Not too much difference between this guy and Varat'idan even. There's even a kind of blur, no doubt because the camera was either pretty far from Amet here, or panned over him pretty quickly. Not bad per se, but so inconsequential as to make him a 1.7.
LORE: Boooooring... Aside from his acknowledged universality ("representative"), there's nothing here that'll score him any real points. Of course, the fact that the lore doesn't give us much in the way of details makes him all the more believable as a universal personnel. Eh. A 2.7.
TREK SENSE: Booooring... This guy is sooooooo generic, who can argue with any of it? There are a lot of Jem'Hadar with two skills, those kinds of attributes, that classification and those exact icons. Of course, we can evaluate him on a purely generic basis. Transporter Skill is a fine Jem'Hadar skill since they need it for Invasive Beam-Ins. Stellar Cartography is okay for the navigators (and this guy is pictured in "space"), but doesn't mesh well with Security. Seems arbitrarily assigned in the tradition of plenty of other Jem'Hadar "nobodies". The only attribute of note is probably the Cunning, which would have to be this high given his one scientific skill. Based on generics, this guy mostly makes sense, but he is TOTALLY uninspired. 2.8 here, and that's pushing it.
STOCKABILITY: Boooo... well, you get the point. Just when you thought you had enough 2-skill SECURITY universal Jem'Hadar in your collection, Decipher makes Assign Support Personnel and feels the need to create a bunch of others. So is this new same-old-same-old personnel warranted? That's a little up to debate. The idea is that, prior to his creation, there was only one Dominion support personnel with Transporter Skill, a skill very useful to that affiliation. That one personnel was Temo'Zuma whose still a productive member of Dominion society today. After all, he's ALSO universal and his second skill is the more useful ENGINEER. Okay, one less point of CUNNING, but it's not like you're using the Jemmies to solve your mental puzzles. The other skill, Stellar Cartography, is semi-useful, mostly in passing one dilemma and maybe completing some missions, and while not rare in the Dominion, it only appears on one other support personnel, Koret'alak who has the lame Physics as his other skill. Amet'alox is better than HIM, especially attribute-wise. So he's not that bad as a support personnel, but not that good, and the duplication, even among universals, can be useful because of the "once per card title" limit on ASP's downloads. High attributes for a universal, a common feature of Jem'Hadar, so I'd always use Lower Decks when playing with them (that one card makes every Amet in play 9-9-11). In support personnel strategies, yes. Otherwise, no. A 3.3.
TOTAL: 9.5 (47.5 %) You guessed it - a little boring for my tastes.
PICTURE: Fushia? It must be a TOS card! ;-) Actually, this card does pretty well for itself despite that facetious comment. There's a good color scheme at work, with the greenish gray found in the background, the suit and the five o'clock shadow. And that dark polka-dot patch behind Darvin can almost be seen as a mismatched shadow alluding to his being something other than he appears. A lot of respect for this choice. A 4.
LORE: Shortened lore often has trouble keeping its head above water. In this case, we get three titles for him. Not so redundant, this emphasizes that Darvin is living a dual existence. A 3.6 it is.
TREK SENSE: Definitely a Klingon infiltrating the Federation, that icon, and the others all make sense. Not any kind of commander, he's nonetheless had more training that any "assistant", so Staff is fair. And being from the 23rd centurty, so are the TOS and AU icons. As an infiltrator, Treachery is a must, and I think it's fair to say he was probably in Klingon Intelligence, the Empire's little seen spy service.His specific sabotage was poisoning some grain, so Biology is perfect. His cover is quite Civilian, but the way, again, no problems. The special ability though, may be a bit too open to work properly. Let's see: On Station K-7 (where he worked), when a Klingon or Federation personnel reports (and, I guess, he's either got someone to report TO or ABOUT), you get to draw a card. It all works until you get to the actual reward. How exactly does spy work translate into more resources? Well, in some cases, I see how it might - giving you the upper hand in negotiations, that kind of thing - but card draws can get you a lot of different stuff, much of which wouldn't work in this context. This isn't terrible mind you, just a little conceptual. And attributes? They look great. Integrity 3 represents his infiltrator status and unforgiveable (though accidental) murder of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent tribbles ;-). Cunning 6 shows how easy it was to expose him. And I think the tribbles also proved how wimpy he was for a Klingon (Strength 6). A strong 4.
STOCKABILITY: A Klingon with an infiltration icon? You don't say. Once again, Federation security is breached, and this time, by someone who can use Klingon cards (though unfortunately no Honor Klingon cards) instead of shape-shifter cards as extra support. With that icon, you can report him to the Office of the President, or, with Homeward, simply to Earth. There, he can provide half the mission's requirements (not counting the Espionage card... too bad there aren't any Plans of Klingon Intelligence in the game). The other half can easily be provided by mission specialist Atul. Treachery and Biology will both be useful since they're found on many Klingon missions, but aren't quite as common as Diplomacy, Honor or Leadership (the last of which he can get with Defensive Measures). Among the infiltration cards you might want to have a look at include Dial Martok for Murder even if Arne's STRENGTH is pretty poor (still goes up to 10 of course), because as an AU, it can be effectively jacked up with Devidian Foragers for 2 clean kills. Add Council of Warriors for some extra points from this maneuver. Note too that he can't be exposed as easily as past infiltrators because he isn't impersonating anyone specific. Back to reporting: sure, you can report him as an infiltrator the usual way, but you can also report him to an AU or TOS ship via Crew Reassignment, and then there's Deep Space Station K-7 at the Sherman's Peak time location. There, he can report for free, and even infiltrate a Federation crew from there (since both the Klingons and Feds share living accomodations here). More than that, every time you or your opponent report an aligned card (be it personnel or ship), you get a card draw. Just through your own reporting, you can get as many as 3 card draws in a single turn without doing anything special (normal card play, free card play, TOS icon ship download). If your opponent is also running a TOS deck, say, Federation, you can get as many as 4 more (if they throw in a Lt. Sisko reporting for free to Captain Kirk). Ok, all of this won't (and can't) happen every time, but turn upon turn, you can get a LOT of card draws, and better deck management. On the bad side, the classification and attributes leave a lot to be desired (other than low-attribute rewards such as passing In the Pale Moonlight) and he can't use classic TOS equipment to any good effect. I say either use him as an infiltrator or as a card drawing engine by just leaving him to rot on K-7; elsewhere, he might be a liability. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) A good score for the one TOS Klingon who has a good reason not to look like a Klingon ;-).
PICTURE: Ugh, very poor indeed. Thought the picture quality is as good as most DS9 fare, and there's a variety of colors here, where's the zest? Both the anonymous nurse and Winn look very stiff, and I'm real sorry we're not getting any actual support personnel on the card, in Assign Mission Specialists style. A disappointing 2.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Here's a card that sounds like a Captain's Order, but isn't... First off, it defines a whole new "class" of personnel - support personnel. These are supposed to be personnel with exactly 2 skills and no special skills (which looks good on paper), those characters you hire on to help your mains out on some missions. Of course, since the concept springs up kinda late in the life of the game, a lot of support personnel (as per the technical definition) really shouldn't be. The original Deanna Troi, for example, IS a main. Of course, that's a reality of episodic television and she might be considered support (that is, non-essential) personnel to Starfleet. But what about ship commanders like Morgan Bateson or Tomalak? They can't be considered "support" by any stretch of the imagination. So there are flaws there. Assigning such personnel makes them report on your bigger (compatible) ships, and this is fine. It makes "ensign Bobs" come forward so to speak, fixing the Trek Sense of general staffing/reporting. I mean, even if a Galaxy class can be staffed with three personnel, there have to be more personnel aboard. Stopping at a facility every time you want people aboard (and such plain personnel to boot) is non-sensical. In also like that shuttles and low-staffing ships can't benefit from this card, since those ships really don't have that much crew. You may also discard the Objective (the equivalent of really using up a resource, perhaps the captain gets his hands dirty by truly asking for a specific personnel) to download a support guy or gal. Again this works, though the difference between compatible and matching ships may seem odd. Maybe the captain wouldn't ask for a differently-aligned personnel? Adding facilities here also works, since these must have a lot of personnel lurking about too, and you can already report personnel there one way or another (much of the time, note that no one "matches" a Neutral facility anyway). I'd say that aside from the actual definition of support personnel which only fails SOMEtimes, this is a winner: a 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: What Assign Mission Specialists did for useless one-skill personnel, Assign Support Personnel tries to do for useless 2-skill personnel. It doesn't succeed as well, but then, those personnel were less in need of a rescue. For one thing, it's an excellent alternative to Crew Reassignment for those who don't use ships with special staffing icons. Now that Galaxy, Vor'Cha or Assault Vessel can benefit from onroute reporting too. Trips to other quadrants in particular will require a faster personnel replenishment method than returning to a faraway outpost. Sure, the personnel you get aren't multi-skilled, but they are still useful, especially if you tailor your draw deck to your missions. You can also discard the Objective to download a specific support personnel, one that you need right away to pass a wall dilemma, or replace someone important you've lost. The card also makes larger ships more useful since you can only report to them, and let's not forget the direct download to facilities, a minor effect that allows for a download even if you're playing with smaller ships. So the card seems a little dependent on the personnel it can allow to report or download, but don't just think of them as 2 skills, they also have a classification (often way more important than skills) and sometimes lore that can help them. A few special support personnel: Deanna Troi can download or report directly to you ship only to switch to the more useful FC version; Aramax provides 2 classifications and half a way to pass Chula: The Game; Shelby will get you by Undetected Beam-In and through Investigate Incursion; Prylar Mond starts conducting services real early; Sarek and Mora Pol have multiplied skills... There are more. In fact, all the non-Borg affiliations have plenty of support personnel to choose from, even micro-affiliations like TOS and Mirror Universe. A speedy 4.
TOTAL: 12.93 (64.67%) The big problem with this one, of course, is that it's allowed Decipher to make more boring 2-skill personnel!
PICTURE: I'm afraid Teri Hatcher's seen some batter days. Oh, I used to think she was hot when I saw this episode (had been a fan ever since an appearance in MacGuyver - what can I say, I was a teenager in the 80s), but that hairstyle turns me off today. It's like looking in a high school yearbook and laughing at all the "big hair". Anyway, the pose makes her a little cross-eyed, and the uniform's a touch too green. The cross behind her centralizes the composition nicely, but I would rather have seen her through a crack in the doors in that pretty red number. Just because it would be more relevant to her role in the episode, you understand, yeah, that's the ticket. A 2.8.
LORE: A lot to like. For one thing, I never understood how the creators thought "B.G." was an appropriate woman's name. Of all the initials-as-names I can think of, that's not one I find too feminine. And Star Trek very rarely uses them for 24th century people. Someone somewhere invented us a real name which is both pretty and exotic. Then there's a short riff on her romatic involvement with Okona, and then... One of the most subtly hidden "textual Easter Egg" in the game. In that innocuous transporter log comment, you'll find the words "daily planet", which is, of course, the newspaper both Clark "Superman" Kent and Lois "Superman's Girlfriend" Lane work for. For those new to american television, Teri Hatcher's most memorable role was as Lois Lane in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman". Cuter than the pic: a 4.6.
TREK SENSE: Transporter technicians are part of the Engineering staff, and they have, what else, the Transporter Skill. A pretty thankless position, the Staff icon is definitely appropriate. Robinson probably deserves the Youth, since she could be under 25 (though fast-advancing, she's already a full lieutenant). Anthropology? She certainly wanted to get to know Okona better, but I doubt it was "culturally". Maybe an Easter-Eggish journalistic skill? Either way, seems pretty flimsy to me. The special download is transporter-related, but not something she used in her episode. Not a big problem, but nothing to cheer about. Leaves us with the attributes which look okay, though if that relatively low Integrity is due to her dilettante nature, why doesn't Riker take the same dive? She doesn't show much in the way of brains or brawn, so I'll accept the others without further comment. A passable 3.3.
STOCKABILITY: Take away all the Federation Transporter Skill personnel from TOS and/or the mirror universe, and you're left with very few cards indeed. So if you don't want to depend on alternate quadrants, time locations or AU doorways, B.G. makes a good defense against Orion Syndicate Bombs, Emergency Conversions and Tribbles. She's not bad even if you use other TS personnel. ENGINEER is always a plus. The Youth is good is some situations, including Ooby Dooby (getting rid of Tribbles beforehand). Anthropology just got a boost from The Guardian of Forever and is present on some Federation missions. The special download makes a very seldom seen card more useful just by virtue of being downloadable from the Tent, for example, but Decipher's card extra hits a high note by suggesting that she can be used to Visit Cochrane Memorial most efficiently. The idea is this: drop alternating Distortion Fields on Earth, thereby cutting it off from beaming. Robinson downloads Pattern Enhancers allowing you to disregard the Fields, but your opponent can't easily go and interfere with her Visit. The same trick can be used to limit an opponent's access to The Guardian of Forever. Good stuff, which makes up for her terrible attributes. Those read like a universal's, but they can't be brought up the same way. All in all, a positive 3.7.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... aw just forget it.
PICTURE: I'm not entirely impressed by this obvious piece of CGI, but you have to admit, it's a far better shot of the Assault Vessel. You don't see it all, and the composition of the card leads your eye astray, but the red nacelles do add some punch. Not too too bad at 3.1.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: As usual for Tactic, I'll look at the Trek Sense of two distinct "cards", Bajoran Phaser Banks, but also Casualties (which turns up on numerous Tactics, but doesn't always confer the same damage). This is meant to be the basic Bajoran tactic, and it differs from other affiliations' in two real ways. The first is that it confers a lower Defense bonus, 1 instead of the usual 2. It's true that Bajoran ships are typically smaller and weaker (though the AU Bajoran Warship doesn't quite meet those same standards). This may also account for the other difference, that of requiring specific skills to get the +2 Attack & Defense bonus when you already have a Bajoran ship firing. The success of smaller ships may hinge more on maneuverabiliy (Navigation) and dirty tricks (Resistance) than raw firepower. A really good Resistance Navigator can really do some damage, as was shown by the seat-of-pants flying of Kira, so the extra bonus for having both skills on one personnel works very well. Of course, the Tactic is hurt by the fact that it still works (sans bonuses) with non-Bajoran ships. Would a Klingon cruiser really have Bajoran Phaser Banks? Of course not. The damage marker part of the equation is used often enough, but this is the first time I've had to review it. "Casulaties" kills a random personnel which is perfect, and on a Nor, the choice of Site being opponent's (the one playing the Tactic) simply means you know where you're firing, which is even better. As for the damages, a -1 across the board isn't much (nor is the 30% Hull reduction too impressive), but it's on par with the smaller Attack and Defense bonus. I'd have to say this one hits a lot of right notes, probably more than your run-of-the-mill Casulaties Tactic. A 3.7.
STOCKABILITY: While the poor Bajorans were left out in the cold when Tactics first came out, the eventually got one. On the surface, weaker, yes, but with the right card combinations, not that bad. Consider that with the right personnel, the total Attack and Defense bonuses of a single ship firing is +5 for each. That's 12/11 for an Interceptor or Assault Vessel, 14/13 for a Warship, and still 8/11 for a lowly Freighter. That's a little more defense for cargo runs, but would also help Interceptor armadas (by just +5 total of course). What you need is a Resistance/Navigation personnel. So, how many are there? Only 2. Kyra Nerys (and plain, simple Kira) and Razka Karn. Since the universal matching commander, Rinnak Pire, has Navigation, I propose simply taking his +3 bonus total and adding it to Captain's Log. That's a +6/+6 that'll be even better. Watch out though: overloading the Battle Bridge side-deck with this Tactic means your damage markers are going to be fairly weak. The Casualty is always good (weeds out personnel at a rate of 2 per hit), but when it's not a direct hit (and it probably usually won't be) those attribute drops won't exactly be crippling. A 30% Hull drop per marker means you need two full hits (or a direct hit) to destroy a ship, no shortcuts here. I'd say the baseline Tactics are all usually very good without being overkills, but this one has a little more trouble getting off the ground. But that's all the Bajorans have... A 3.6 from me.
TOTAL: 13.87 (69.33%) Like the ships firing, unimpressive overall.
PICTURE: I'm rarely impressed with the underside of ships, but I suppose Decipher has to find a way around the fact that some affiliations use the same hull designs over and over ;-). The Raider is equally unimpressive, looking kinda dinky and silly with its outstreched arms. Humpty Dumpty with tentacles? An ugly 2. Looked better on Hidden Fighter.
LORE: Matching commander listing aside, the lore reads pretty well. "Nimble" is a nice epithet here, and the backstory is interesting. A 3.4 despite the truncated text.
TREK SENSE: The rickety craft from "The Siege" gets card treatment, and it's good. Just like in the show, the craft only holds 2 people and has no transporters. Just like in the show, Kira Nerys can fly the pants off pilots in better craft. And just like in the show, it can take off and land. As for the rest, reporting with crew is a hard concept to work into Trek Sense. I understand it's there to actually make the card useful despite its low attributes, but that doesn't make it right. Let's just say it's a stretch. The only way I can explain it is to say that because of its small size, it went on undetected, and noone noticed two personnel getting into it, etc. I do like how you can only either report, land or take off once per turn, which creates an actual time for warming up the engines. The attributes work for the most part, with the relatively high Weapons sensical within the context of a maneuverable fighter craft, and the Shields being a normal low. The Range is more disturbing since I doubt Raiders were equipped with warp engines. Heck, the bigger Interceptor wasn't! There, as here, the problem was adressed by giving the ship a boost within a region which, optimally, should be a one-system area you don't use warp speed in, but maybe Trek Sense would have been better served by making the RANGE 0 outside a region? That wouldn't really have hurt Bajoran decks that much given their large region. I do appreciate the built-in limits though, so I'm giving this little ship a 4.1.
STOCKABILITY: Don't see it as a lamer version of the Interceptor, see it as the Bajoran version of the Type 18 Shuttlepod. Just like the Interceptor, you can download it via Hidden Fighter, have it take off or land without support from any other card, and give it a substantial RANGE boost in-region. But unlike the Interceptor, it can report with personnel aboard (up to two to be exact). That's 3 cards played for the price of one. That's gets you a staffed ship in one fell swoop, and the two personnel can be of any type (not just Navigation like the Shuttlepod). Report it to Docking Pads and either send your personnel inside the station or land right away to get them to the planet. The ship is slower than the Interceptor in that it can't take off on the same turn in which it wass reported, but as a way to get personnel into DS9, that won't matter. Want even more personnel? Unload the crew right after reporting and slam the ship with Ready Room Door. You can get a Rinnak Pire just like with other Bajoran ships, but Kira Nerys is a much more useful personnel. Either one will make the Raider a 6(+4)-8-7 vessel with Plaque and Log, evening up the odds a little. No transporters and limited seating space doesn't make them very good mission solvers, so you really are sorta limited to ferrying personnel with it, most often, in-region. But that report with crew business may be enough to use the card. While we wait for more Raiders and thus, cards to interact with them, I'll give it a 3.5.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Yep, not quite so good as the Interceptor.
PICTURE: Without a doubt one of the most beautiful Sites, the electric blues and golden lights are arranged symmetrically creating a very nice effect indeed. The slight fish-eye perspective and centrality of the bajoran icons are helped by the diffuse filter used on the chandelliers. Pretty and gothic, though I'll admit, a little bare in spots. A 3.9.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: There was one storefront on the Promenade that was hitherto ignored in the game until now, and that's the station's small temple. But no longer! Like other sites, you can "already find" personnel working here (so report them directly to the station), but with most Bajorans being very pious, the limit of only clergy may be a bit stiff. I'm not even sure it's appropriate to include Kais here since there's only ever one Kai, and she should be working on Bajor, not DS9. Prylars are fine and Vedeks, though rarer, still seem to make appearances at the services. The whole idea of "conducting services" makes a very nice counterpoint to the Cardassians' "ore processing", but makes less sense overall (though services rightly need both a member of the clergy and an "audience"). With ore processing at least, you can see card management as the smelting and building or resources (cards). I know the Bajorans are a spiritual people, but how does praying really translate as the same kind of thing? In some cases, you might be praying for the effects target cards will bring, but that doesn't really help with noun cards. "Spiritual resources" eh? Hm. Having an Orb present doubles the card draw which is a nice effect, but still based on the conceptual rather than the actual. Perhaps an Orb should have been seedable there since there is one in the show? (Not for game balance certainly, but I'm not concerned with that here.) Of course, only a Bajoran station has an open temple, as would the culture-tolerant Federation-controlled Nor. Less tolerant peoples can destroy the Shrine (and probably would as an act of religious genocide) with just a disruptor by standing outside the room. Doesn't quite work there, though I admit a disruptor is a pretty powerful weapon and able to do this kind of damage, but "outside the room" actually means all the way across to Quark's or the Infirmiry in many cases. Promenade Shops is actually the corridor, but adjacent sites can be further off. This also sets a dangerous precedent for other sites which can't be destroyed the same way. Why not? I like most of the details, but the entire card-drawing mechanism is just that: mechanics. Still gets a relatively high 3.4 because it's nicely thematic.
SEEDABILITY: Where ore processing went wrong, conducting services went right. That is to say that Decipher righted some wrongs, but also built in greater game balance so that the Bajoran Shrine doesn't have the nasty counter Process Ore does (despite being rehabilitated somewhat by mirror decks). For one thing, conducting services doesn't require an extra card - it's a built-in effect. Nice. For another, it doesn't require you to think of processing at the start of the turn. You can do it at any time DURING the turn. That's both flexible and easy on the brain. The result is much the same though: efficient card management. Cards that you draw to soon can be (eventually) returned to the bottom the the draw deck, while cards that have turned out to be useless can be placed out-of-play (think of dilemmas you don't want to "regenerate" for example). In exchange, you get to draw a brand new card. Cards you've lost to the discard pile are easily reshuffled into your deck (downloading will get them higher in the order if you can't wait for the bottom), resulting in smaller deck sizes if you wish, and renewable resources throughout the game. Flash in the pan Events and Interrupts for example, come back to haunt your opponent over and over again. But what are the failsafes built into the card? And are they that detrimental? Well, you only draw one card instead of "up to two" (which was kinda cheesy), but that's easily fixed with the presence of an Orb. Bajoran often play with these anyway (with HQ: Return Orb to Bajor), but that can open you up to Scorched Hands and the like, so you might like the more balanced approach. Services can also only be conducted if the Bajorans or Federation run the station, and you'll need Bajorans anyway (clergy members), but since those affiliations were barred from ore processing, that's only fair. Yes, conducting services is a little harder, but not that hard considering that the appropriate personnel report to the site, and may even be downloaded by Ops if you want to start managing cards early in the game. The Shrine can also be destroyed by an opposing personnel at an adjacent site if armed with a disruptor (used by all the other races anyway), but the wording seems to indicate that the site can only be destroyed if the station is no longer controlled by the Bajorans or Feds, so by then, you've already lost control of the station and Shrine. Reactor Overload destroys the OPU much more easily (considering it's a Referee icon card) if Process Ore is "abused". But I'm going on and on about conducting services and neglecting to talk about the advantages of the site itself. There aren't that many personnel reportable here (only one lackluster Prylar, 4 Vedeks, mostly highly-skilled, and 2 Kais, one of which is also counted among the Vedeks). Still, some of these turn up specifically on dilemmas or missions (sometimes as Orb icon personnel), and Kai Opaka can be used to protect whatever Orb you're using to guarantee a double card draw. Which Orb should you use? Well, Mysterious Orb is out since it isn't Equipment-like, but the others make nice altar pieces. Orb Fragment is less interesting (though it could protect your Nor from a space-encountered Dal'Rok), and Orb of Time even less so. But the Orb of Prophecy and Change is always useful, especially to control your card draw. And you'll easily report or download an Orb icon personnel to get free card plays thanks to the Orb of Wisdom. The last two offer great effects without the need to have the Artifact travel. A great boost to Bajorans at 4.5.
TOTAL: 15.73 (78.67%) Who was praying for this?
PICTURE: It must be true what they say about men aging gracefully because the geeky Darvin looks positively roguish and personable here, really not showing what must be rather advanced age (actually, he's probably a tad younger than Kor, Kang or Koloth, which is still old). I like the lighting and colors especially, with fine use of vertdegris and light brown in both background and subject, right down to his hair (do I smell a wig? so THAT'S why the Klingons looked different in the past ;-). A well-composed 3.6.
LORE: His other identity is mentioned without making him a version of the same persona (as per the AU convention), but he's still a Klingon. The mention of his statue takes you to Hero of the Empire, so that's a welcome reference to a linked card. An above average 3.5.
TREK SENSE: In this guise (and as a Non-Aligned outcast), Waddle is a Civilian, and his trading activities do warrant the inclusion of Navigation and Computer Skill to his skill list. Unfortunately, given his grafting of a bomb on a tribble, you'd have thought some kind of related skill (Engineer, Physics, Exobiology) would have been a better, and more substantiated, choice. The Treachery is more obvious, and the Staff icon quite tolerable (I imagine he used a ship to conduct his trading). The Orb icon he got from peeking into the Orb of Time (source of his "vision"). The download of the Tribble Bomb is quite natural as it did seem to spring from nowhere (as in, he built it on K-7). I'll leave the ramifications of that particular card for a later review. It's the other special skill that's hard to swallow however. Now, I understand the rationale: He intercepted the Orb of Time before as it was being returned to Bajor (in fact, that's the Orb pictured on the famous Objective). Ok, but I'm sure the Orb eventually got back anyway. Ok, but from ANYWHERE? Stopping an Orb from being returned by physically being with that Orb (which isn't even the only function of the target card) is what he did. Believing that he could be sitting somewhere on Qualor II and mystically preventing the Bajorans from Returning Orbs is not something I'm able to do. That's gonna cost. The attributes aren't terribly well allocated either. I'll believe his Integrity is that low - he was ready to change the timeline in his favor, killing a man to do so - but the other two could stand a small hike. His Cunning appears to be the same as it was decades ago, whereas you'd think the experience that comes with age (he didn't seem addled) would have brought him to a 7. I agree that he's still an idiot character (his plan could have killed himself in the past, so was quite foolhardy), but it still took technical acumen to almost pull off. The Strength is more problematic. I know he's old and probably hasn't been practicing any Klingon skills, but he should still have more vigour than what is given here. I'm not gonna deduct much because of this (it's still possible), but I'm looking at the other three venerable Klingons, and though they stayed warriors, they're still very strong for men their age. Looking back, some less appropriate choices and a much-too-wide special skill drop him to a 2.7.
STOCKABILITY: Barry Waddle has some pretty good skills, a couple of which are some of the most frequently required abilities in the game, but those really aren't why you would use him. There are actually a couple of real reasons to do so. One of these is to hose Bajoran decks that rely on HQ: Return Orb to Bajor to either grab those artifacts without completing missions and/or getting them back to Bajor for points and card draws. That's a strong boost for the Bajorans and most will take advantage of it. Enter Barry Waddle who doesn't even have to be anywhere special to nullify the objective. Nope, you can just leave him on Qualor II (where, because of the stasis clause, the Bajorans will have a harder time gunning for him) and let him work his magic. That's if you just want him as a glorified counter. His Orb icon means HE's a legitimate target of same objective, and being Non-Aligned, allows all non-Borg peoples the chance to Return Orb to Bajor, score points, draw cards, and even get your hands on those artifacts more quickly. You'll also need him to time travel using the Orb of Time, or play free cards with the Orb of Wisdom. You could always do this with Orb Experience, but Barry's more cost-effective, and he can hurt your opponent using the same strategies. The second great reason to use him, probably the best, is that you absolutely need him to play Tribble Bomb, and the Tribble Bomb really helps with Hero of the Empire. And Hero of the Empire creates massive point attrition (to borrow a term from another game) for your opponent. And you might be Returning Orbs at a rate of 10 points apiece and scoring 10 extra points per mission (retroactively no less), all while your opponent suffers from an equally retroactive -10 to each mission. (Of course, this won't affect the Borg, but it's not a perfect world, just Waddle's perfect world.) You can still just use the Bomb to kill off a specific personnel if you don't want to allocate that many card slots to the effort (Sherman's Peak, K-7, Tribble Bomb, Captain Kirk, Hero of the Empire, a way to get Barry there, probably the Orb of Time, possibly a Tribble side-deck, etc.), fact is, it'll always play for free and not a bad little killer. The fact that he's a Klingon is a small fringe benefit for which you might consider including Klingon-targeting cards, but none seem all that useful given his particulalry low STRENGTH (Klingon Right of Vengeance would really only make him STRENGTH 4, for example, though your Klingons might use him as the guy that gets killed... easily). These too often work best with a Klingon crew or Away Team, but if that's your fancy, he's not a bad alternative to Non-Aligned Worf. Loooots of possibilities, including a powerful counter ability, but a built-in balance: low attributes. That STRENGTH makes it plain that the counter to the counter is simply bumping him off with a STRENGTH>4 personnel (for immediate mortal wounds), or Tantalus Field, or just the next dilemma, whatever works. I'll give him a strong 4.2 anyway.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) By making him a piece in a powerful puzzle, Decipher insured his usefulness.
PICTURE: The ol' Antares class ship finally gets a card, and I must say it suits the Cardassians. The ship has the same hooded figure configuration found in their other ships. Really nice details too, such as the Cardassian symbol on the wing. I give it a 3.6.
LORE: Of course, lore gets extra points for giving a matching commander, but at the same time, that attribution is total invention. Just seems like we're naming matching commanders left and right just for its own sake. The rest is fine, though the game text turns suspicion into reality. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Exploring the matching commander issue first, I'd have to say that Boheeka COULD, yes, have commanded this freighter. After all, it's "old". Unfortunately, the fact that he "briefly" commanded it a long time ago doesn't jibe with the matching commander concept, namely that is represents great familiarity with a ship (thereby justifying Captain's Log bonuses, etc.). The staffing is the same as the similar Bajoran Freighter (similar in class and attributes anyway). What's interesting about the card of course, is the special game text. On the Bok'Nor, a Smuggler can complete cargo runs with hand weapons. This actually fixes a problem with cargo runs: the fact that military-oriented people would definitely transport and deliver weapons. The Cardassians ARE a military people, and they deserve this ability. The Smuggling is a good idea too since the ship was trying to hide its cargo from the Feds. Also interesting is the fact that Decipher obviously sides with the Maquis on the issue of whether or not the Bok'Nor really was running weapons or not. No problem, I tend to agree. A good showing at an even 4.
STOCKABILITY: Though it has weak attibutes, the Bok'Nor is without a doubt the best choice for Cardassian cargo runs. It's a Freighter, reports for free at Docking Ports, has a matching commander who can boost its attributes to 9-7-9 AND has the necessary Smuggling to enable the game text. That game text makes it possible for you to complete cargo runs with hand weapons, equipment which'll probably figure in your deck design more easily than some PADD or Tricorder. Add a couple of Search for Weapons to the spaceline (where you can even play your Nors) for easy access to more guns. Boheeka can be downloaded to a Cargo Bay or to the ship directly (with Ready Room Door). He'll not only allow for the cargo runs, but he can solve Krassari Rendezvous all by himself, discarding the hand weapons for points. A great addition to the Cardassian fleet, don't let the low attributes fool you. A 4.2.
TOTAL: 14.9 (74.5%) Simple yet elegant.
PICTURE: Dramatically, I think it's interesting to show the Defiant so close in the foreground, just about to be pelted by a rather mysterious projectile. The game text box does kind of cut into that, but there is movement and energy here. And I do like that both Breen tactics feature the victim's ship more than the attacker (both times the Defiant). The unfortunate thing is that you can't make out the Breen ship all that well. The entire top half of the card is very "dirty" visually, and even the foreground is blurry. Though I respect its design ethic up to a point, I can't see myself giving it more than a 2.4.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Well, it's the same old "basic weapon" with Casualties, isn't it? Each affiliation has such a thing, though the Breen seem to be a subset of the Dominion when it comes to this. Anyway, when compared to similar tactics, the Breen version comes off as having 2 Attack as well as 2 Defense. Usually, it's 1/2 (or 1/1 for the weaker Bajoran version). Sure, the Breen Warships were formidable in battle, but even the Borg got 1/2. That, to me, is a problem. That Breen ships get an extra bonus is perfectly normal however. As for the Casualties part of the card, it makes as much sense as it usually does: more than enough, since people die in space battles, and the choice of site reflects a choice of target rather nicely. That only leaves us with the rest of the damage marker. Again, we have an overpowered result, again better than the Borg (who used to be the only ones with a basic tactic with more than one -2 to a ship attribute). Just hard to swallow at 2.8.
STOCKABILITY: I'd be a little more enthusiastic if Breen ships were more common. There's currently only one (Breen Warship), and it may be universal, it's still a rare. That means it's harder to build an armada of them for your Dominion deck. You're gonna be using Jem'Hadar Attack Ships to supplement them for sure, but they are not covered by this tactic. Breen Warships, however, ARE covered by Phased Polaron Beam (the other basic Dominion tactic). (Note that all ships are covered by almost all tactics, but I'm talking about the extra bonus here.) Sure, the card has better numbers, but as a strict tactic, it's a little limited in scope. You should think of stocking it more as a damage marker however. The damage is quite high for such a card (-2s across the board, plus a relatively hefty Hull minus as well), and the Casualty is always welcome. So not the most efficient card to stock en masse, but with a fair number, your Dominion (and even other affiliations) can optimize the damage they do. Just make sure you have plenty of other tactics to use before you get to play damage markers. To be fair, a 3.5.
TOTAL: 11.6 (58%) Not incredibly inspired.
PICTURE: Despite the Breen Warship again not being visible on the Tactic, this one's a beauty. Indeed, it's quite interesting to see the effect of the weapon rather than its being fired, especially for such a unique mode of attack. And this shot also heralded the death of the USS Defiant, a historic moment in DS9 history. The streaking stars also add to the dynamism of the card and seem to be more sparks flying off the ship. A very very cool 4.4.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Where most ships can use most tactics leading to such ingruencies as a K'Vort making use of Bajoran Phaser Banks (at least for the basic Attack/Defense bonus), this one rightly requires the firing ship to have the Energy Dampener installed. The basic bonuses offered here can be justified rather easily, with the short-range nature of this "gauss gun" meaning you couldn't get a lot of defense out of it, but the confusing pyrotechnics might mean Attack could be at a premium. The weapon does little physical damage, though it does hit a ship's shields, so the small [down][flip] regardless is appropriate. And that [down] also means I can consider this Tactic a single card instead of two since it uses itself as damage marker. In fact, the damage marker "card", Power Surge, is mentioned in the Tactic game text. That part basically boosts the damage marker's power - so we'll discuss it there - but not against immune ships. The IKC Ki'tang proved to be accidentally immune when shot with it, and its engine specs were applied to the USS Sao Paulo, and I guess ships with an Energy Dampener weapon are naturally immune. Ok, no problem there, though the restrictions may be a bit severe since they don't include all other ships we know to have been modified like the Sao Paulo following the Defiant's destruction. Just saying. The damage marker is the main crux of this card, telling us the Weapon interferes with a ship's systems, frying all special equipment aboard as well as Range and Weapons (unless the ship is specially protected). The Range and Weapons, yes, we saw that happen. A battle wasn't really the place to check if Tractor Beams and Holodecks were offline, but it would make sense that they would be affected. Particle Scattering Beams, Cloaking Devices, Phasing Cloaks, Energy Dampeners themselves, ok. Invasive Transporters, I'll believe though the Weapon doesn't seem to affect regular transporters. It probably should blanket hit all transport devices. Long-Range Scan Shielding, well, maybe if it's some kind of electromagnetic protection, but not if it's special hull materials, so not convinced there. There is a question as to whether a protected ship would still suffer the loss of its special equipment. Doesn't ptotected mean protected? Oh, and it seemed to have a much greater effect on Shields in the show, though for game balance that was undoubtedly impossible, but I'll take the low Hull damage. The zap only momentarily disables a ship's systems, since the Tactic is soon discarded, and I have no problem with that, except... except that it means Hull damage is instantly repaired and that particular slice of damage has nothing to do with the Energy Damp. When flipped as a damage marker without the benefit of the Tactic preceding it, it still makes the same amount of sense, since Power Surges can be an occurence due to damage. A lot of stuff going on, and the card generally does a good job of it, but some problems do crop up. A 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: The Dominion does hold an advantage because of the sheer number of Energy Dampener-equipped ships it has access to, from the really tough Breen Warships to the easily staffed Enhanced Attack Ships (all universal), but the Feds and Cardies have the Stolen Attack Ship. All of these are already strong vessels, but adding this Tactic into the Battle Bridge side-deck can be a real killer. See, when faced by a superior foe, most ships won't counterattack; they'll try to escape. But what if you totally disable their RANGE? They might then try to counterattack. Ah, but what if you disable their WEAPONS? Well, then, I suppose you have a couple turns (before the damage marker is discarded) to destroy the ship outright. Hey, if you could score the hit that got you this far, you can score enough of them to destroy the ship. It can't escape by cloaking, can't even send Jem'Hadar over to counterattack mano a mano. Even the protected ships (and these are quite rare outside the Dominion, not necessarily that frequent there either) can be made to lose their Energy Dampener only to be hit again to lose RANGE and WEAPONS too. The only real danger here is to stock too many of these in the side-deck. As damage markers go, it's pretty weak - a small hit to SHIELDS and HULL. A very strong showing perhaps only really hampered by the fact it can't be used by every affiliation. A 4.3.
TOTAL: 16.27 (81.33%) Sometimes, it pays to be flashy.
PICTURE: Yes, the ship is piecemeal and asymetrical on the show, but here it looks like it's a collection of computer-generated ship parts cut and pasted together haphazardly. There's just no depth, no perspective to make the eye understand what it's seeing. Still has good lines of motion on the compositional level though. A 2.7 that continues the trend of bad looking Dominion warships.
LORE: Ooops, in the rush to cut down on the lore box, they forgot to say it was a ship! Obviously, we can figure that out on our own, but it does stray from your usual lore structures. The rest is interesting enough, with the attack on San Francisco standing out as a true event. Plus, extra points for including a matching commander. A short and quirky lore that still packs a punch at 3.7.
TREK SENSE: Breen Warships are ferocious! I think they may be overrated here (attribute-wise) since their true power was really in their Energy Dampener weapon, but they were probably always a true military power, just not as expansionistic as the Klingons or Romulans. The size of the ship would require the usual high staffing, but also the Tractor Beam (it can take in ships). The lore does well to mention the ship's bio-systems because it's clear it uses technology different from that of other powers. As such, the restriction that Breen must be aboard to use the ship at full capacity makes sense. Only they know how to really staff the ship, though lesser hands can attempt it. It also creates incentive to use Breen to staff it, avoiding the pitfall of having a Breen ship being run by, say, Jem'Hadar. Speaking of incentives, you can also report Breen directly aboard. In a sense, it's a cute wink at the fact we've never seen the Breen homeworld, and it's also a good way to just make "ensign Bobs" come out of the woodwork and join the "cast" (they were always aboard, just not represented by a card). But this "Assign Support Personnel"-like ability isn't as justified when it comes to unique personnel (like Thot Gor). These should already BE the cast. That said, the ship is as sensical as they usually come, but far more original. A cool 3.6.
STOCKABILITY: A universal ship with attributes 9-10-9? And with a matching commander that reports directly aboard? Double ouch. But that's the Breen Warship for you. It can be downloaded by Spacedoor, it doesn't have to start out life in the Gamma quadrant, and it's great for Dominion smackdown decks (the strong Breen warriors report directly aboard). Did I mention it has 2 specific Tactics attached to it? Yep, you can disable a ship outright with Breen Energy-Dampening Weapon or simply make use of the strongest "regular" Tactic in the game, Breen Disruptor Burst. The matching commander ain't too bad either. Obviously he not only gives the usual boosts to his ship through Captain's Log and Defiant Dedication Plaque, but also naturally makes the ship +2 (with a +2 also going to other ships in the same battle). That's up to 11-15-12 for a single universal ship! The one drawback is that without any Breen aboard, the ship drops to a 6-7-6, not a total stinker, but real slow and vulnerable. But with the ship acting as a reporting base, that's not as big a disadvantage as it could be. Since you may report the Breen directly there, you just have to make sure not to let their number dwindle too far. A Breen Warship and Dominion Battleship should be able to keep your Alpha quadrant objectives stocked with strong warriors, but if you only want to use one type, you might consider the one staffed by people that DON'T need the White. Very strong at 4.3.
TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Can you imagine a unique version?
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