Siskoid's Rolodex The Trouble with Tribbles (7)

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Trouble with Tribbles expansion set.

#1947-Tumek, Personnel, Klingon, TwT
"Klingon elder. Longtime advisor and attendant to the House of Kozak. Conducted brek'tal ritual for the Lady Grilka and her Ferengi mate, Quark Son of Keldar."
-CIVILIAN, Exobiology, Honor, SCIENCE, Law; SD Grilka

PICTURE: The red in the background isn't the usual Klingon red, since it's from Quark's bar, but it still works. Tumek looks a bit odd in that light, overwhelmed by the bright color, but he is in his waning years, so that's perhaps appropriate. A distinctive 3.3.

LORE: Mostly sticking to events from "The House of Quark", though the word "longtime" is proven in "Looking for Par'mach...". I find no flaws here, nor any fireworks. A 3.1.

TREK SENSE: An elder, not a warrior, he merits the Civilian classification. We saw him conduct a couple of Klingon rituals, and on one occasion even acted as a sort of "justice of the peace", which bears out the Law and the Honor. Science and Exobiology are less obvious though. Is that what he used to do before becoming an old man? Sometimes I think that any association with an alien species (like the Ferengi, in this case) is seen as enough reason for slapping Exobiology on a personnel.  I happen to disagree with that one. Not wholly satisfying then. The special download may seem reversed, with the attendant downloading the mistress. This scheme is also used on Anya, Kerla and Sarish Rez, the justification being that the secretary/bodyguard is in charge of the other personnel's schedule, so that it's really, in this case, Grilka who goes where Tumek tells her to (based on original orders from her, of course). Tumek's great Integrity was shown again in again, in his loyalty, but also his respect for Quark and Worf. His Cunning is wisdom as much as standard smarts, and his Strength is high despite his age, a Klingon trait. A couple of skills from left field keep this one at 3.

STOCKABILITY: An obvious addition to any Klingon deck that makes use of Quark Son of Keldar to take advantage of certain Rules of Acquisition (often in a Greed/Treachery deck), he'll be able to download Grilka and her attribute boosts to Quark if she isn't in play yet. In a standard Klingon Honor deck, well, he has the skill, and can download an Honor x2 personnel to add to it. Furthermore, he's a Law personnel, something that doesn't grow on trees, even if the Klingons are generally well served in that area. CIVILIAN isn't much (except at a Colony), but a second classification, SCIENCE, is excellent, and Exobiology is also good against dilemmas (not to mention the Klingons' fair share of Exobiology missions). Very good attributes too. I'll have to give him a 3.5.

TOTAL: 12.9 (64.5%) A bit above average (but not in his prime).

#1959-Varat'idan, Personnel, Dominion, universal, Ketracel-dependent, Gamma Quadrant, TwT
"Typical Jem'Hadar soldier. Fifth. Assigned to Terok Nor while station was occupied by the Dominion. Drilled in station defense tactics."
-SECURITY, Astrophysics, Geology; Staff icon

PICTURE: The Terok Nor Jem'Hadar are funny because they're just sitting around Quark's, presumably not buying anything. Varat'idan has that creepy look Quark was always complaining about. The background is unintrusive, though perhaps a little dull, and blurriness is a factor. Still a good "typical" station Jem'Hadar at 3.3.

LORE: Universality, rank, posting... That's all standard stuff. The note on the type of training he's gone through is an interesting light at the end of a pretty ordinary tunnel. A 3.

TREK SENSE: Varat'idan's got everything we'd expect from a typical Jem'Hadar soldier, including Security and all the proper icons. Jem'Hadar are bred to be useful, so we shouldn't be surprised to find a space and a planet skill, but what do they have to do with soldiering? Perhaps the key here is in those station drills. The station is in the Denorios Belt, with a (mined) wormhole really close by, so Astrophysics may well be of use if Varat'idan has to rush to an Attack Ship. As for Geology, well, Terok Nor is an old mining station. Perhaps knowing all the little corners of the station could be part of the skill. Overreaching? Only a little. Integrity shows loyalty, but no special courage (he's only made it to Fifth). Cunning's high to account for his skills, all in separate, and no doubt complex, fields. Strength may be low for a Jem'Hadar, but remember that a guy like Ben Sisko was a match for the Jemmie "extras". It's a card that requires justification for a lot of elements, but we do manage to get there eventually. A 3.3.

STOCKABILITY: The Dominion is surprisingly low on Geology, and by being a support personnel, Varat'idan can report/download a little faster than either Duran'adar, Inglatu or Ornithar, the other universal Geologists. Sure, you could use Defend Homeworld to grab the other Jem'Hadar, but it's just Geology, people, don't go wasting card resources on little universals. Assign Support Personnel is just what the doctor ordered. Astrophysics is more common, but no less useful against either dilemmas or at mission attempts. Two good skills, a classification that sees a lot of use in Dominion decks, and no real flaws in the attributes. Lower Decks puts him over the top, as does HQ: War Room. Designed to fill a hole in the skill pool, he gets 3.5.

TOTAL: 13.1 (65.5%) And a bad tipper too.

#1972-Velal, Personnel, Romulan, TwT
"Romulan general. Commander of the Romulan fleet at the close of the Dominion war. Committed the Romulan Star Empire to the final attack on Cardassia."
-OFFICER, SECURITY, Transporter Skill, Archaeology; Capatin's Log is +1 on your D'deridex-class ships; Command icon

PICTURE: Though the background is unbalanced, the battle plans on the left help sell him as a tactician. Nothing too particular otherwise. A competent 3.3.

LORE: Being a general helps, of course, and the rest hammers in that he was present at the last battle with the Dominion in the final DS9 episode. Good, if again, nothing too interesting. A 3.3.

TREK SENSE: A General is an Officer with a Command icon, to be sure, but I am suprised not to find Leadership among his skills. Security is what makes him a good tactician, and by coordinating his fleet, knowing its ships and captains as well as he does, he actually helps their attributes. It's a fleet of D'deridex-class vessels, so nothing else counts, though of course, it's hard to believe the ship/commander pairs in the game are all actually in the fleet that made the run on Cardassia. Then again, the entire game is built on the idea that characters from disparate storylines would find themselves working together, so forget I said anything. I think the Captain's Log boost works just fine. The two other skills are iffy, however. Transporter Skill might be there because the Romulans were planning on landing troops on Cardassia. Fair enough. Archaeology... An apparent hobby of his, and thrown in without any justification here. Integrity is high for a Romulan, but by this point, they were working with the good guys, and he did respect the alliance. Cunning is high because of his tactical mind. The relatively high Strength is a Romulan biological trait, and it's not too high because he's something of a desk-hugger now. One stray skill, but that's enough to drop him to 3.4.

STOCKABILITY: When Captain's Log came out, the Romulans had the advantage because they had so many ship/commander pairs. Soon enough, though, the other affiliations caught up and it became rare that a unique ship didn't have a matching commander (or two), and even the universals for that matter. The Romulans were left with mostly D'deridex-class ships, harder to staff than many other commandable ships. Velal tries to help a little in that respect. Those D'deridex-class ships now get an extra +1 from Captain's Log, no matter where he's stationed (WEAPONS and SHIELDS usually in the 12s and 13s). A good effect, and one you can get into play easily by reporting him for free to Office of the Proconsul (he's a General), or downloading him via Homefront or Defend Homeworld (he's SECURITY). Not an overwhelming advantage mind you, so he offers a little more. He passes Executive Authorization, for example, and his Transporter Skill remains one of the rarer skills in the game. With Archaeology, he'll fit right into classic Romulan Archaeology decks as well. And all his attributes are on the high side. So a fairly good mission solver, with a hands-off special skill that'll work with your usual cards. Hits 3.8.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Useful, but of rather average design.

#1985-VR Headset, Equipment, TwT
"Standard visual interface used by the Dominion. Virtual-reality eyepiece facilitates face-to-face communications and provides an unobstructed 360-by-360 view outside the ship."
-Each VR Headset aboard your [Dom] ship allows one Vorta, Jem'Hadar, or Cardassian present to enhance WEAPONS and SHIELDS +1 and (if Vorta) to serve as matching commander.

PICTURE: The close-up creates some graininess, but the effort to show the hardware as much as possible is appreciated. It's just unattractive and a little dirty. Only manages a 2.3.

LORE: Though technical, it does surrender some of the mysteries about the the VR Headset, such as why this thing would be superior to a standard viewscreen. An interesting 3.3.

TREK SENSE: It's Dominion equipment made for Dominion ships, though the phrasing creates an anomaly in the Stolen Attack Ship. Also, wouldn't ALL Dominion ships be equipped with this technology (exceptions: the Breen Warship and Karemman Vessel, but I'm sure conversion is possible)? A bit like having card for the Warp Core to enable its Range, isn't it? Perhaps the card is meant to represent expertise with the Headset, but then, it shouldn't be an Equipment card. But given the existence of the card, the effects are fine. Seeing at all angles around the ship would boost fighting efficiency (Weapons and Shields - if Shields contains a maneuverability component), and it could be justified that in a battle. If more than one personnel had a VR Headset, it could help your chances even more (the commander AND the gunner have one). Here might be a key to accepting the card: There's always one Headset on a Dominion ship, but the card represents extra ones that can be used by extra personnel to boost the ship beyond its one-Headset levels. THAT, I'll buy. Vorta and Jem'Hadar make up the usual crews, so they're bred to use them, and the Cardassians have shown a biological affinity for them, so they're covered too in case of Treaty. The last piece making the Vorta a matching commander enables something sound (that Vorta are bred to be matching commanders and that all Dominion ships are basically the same), but seems to fit in less with the concept of the Headset. After all, they would wear the FIRST Headset, the one not represented by a card, and the piece of Equipment doesn't really make you know your own ship and crew better so as to give you the appropriate bonuses. After all those twists and turns, I'm gonna stick with a relatively low 3.1.

STOCKABILITY: Jem'Hadar Attack Ships already have a high attributes-to-staffing ratio, so boosting those with a simple piece of Equipment, easily available at a Supply Depot (now that Ketracel-White isn't as crucial), well, that's excellent. Just +1 to WEAPONS and SHIELDS, but the bonus is cumulative. Any Jem'Hadar or Vorta can use it, and if you have a Treaty, your Cardassians too. It's best on a Vorta though, since it also makes him matching commander of any ship he's on (a transferrable authority), basically making Captain's Log provide +4 bonuses when you take it all together. A lone Vorta with a VR Headset on an Attack Ship with Captain's Log in play is flying an 8-12-12 vessel. Gelnon even downloads the thing. The bigger Warships and Battleship, well, their attributes will run sky high, and you have immense flexibility in naming a matching commander. The Dominion are good battlers, and this makes them even better with higher attributes on their ships, Make It So unstoppability, etc. A strong 4.5.

TOTAL: 13.2 (66%) A virtually high score.

#1999-We Look for Things, Incident, TwT
-Plays on your staffed Pakled ship. May discard incident to "acquire" one artifact, event, or equipment enhancing attributes(s) of an opposing ship present (once per game per card title). Opponent must give you that card (or download a copy of it) for your use. OR Downloads a copy of any artifact (as if earned), event, or equipment enhancing attribute(s) of an opponent's ship. Discard incident.

PICTURE: Though it's something of a paste-up job (for the Trek creators, not for Decipher), it's a welcome change of pace from those ugly Pakleds, plus we're talking about ship enhancements anyway. The dinky Mondor seems no match for the large Enterprise, but that's probably why the Pakleds want to steal from it. A 3.1.

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

TREK SENSE: This card represents whatever strategy the Pakleds are using to get "Things", whether that's a samaritan snare or something else (since I don't think such a trap would have worked on Jarada or Romulans). It plays on a Pakled ship that's staffed, ensuring a Pakled personnel's presence. Your Pakled would then steal a "Thing" that would make their ship go, or make them strong. This could be almost anything, from a priceless Artifact, to simple Equipment, to technology installed as an Event. Only the last possibility might cause problems, since there's no reason why taking one ship's Metaphasic Shields (for example) would make your entire fleet lose the technology. In the case of Events, there should have been a sharing, not a stealing. The victim may not lose the technology if he or she is able to replicate it, i.e. download another copy. Sensible enough, though odd in the case of Artifacts (not that it would happen often, since Artifacts are more rarely stocked, especially in multiples). With the second function, we get "Things the Pakled has previously stolen", just like the stuff they'd acquired prior to meeting the Enterprise. But those things still have to be in play on the opponent's side, they've just been previously stolen is all. Or else the Pakled traded fair and square for them. It's an ok second function, not as well tied to storytelling. In general, it works pretty well, and scores a 4.

STOCKABILITY: Only works if you use some Pakled cards - the minimum, I would say, is the Mondor and Grebnedlog, the ship able to Ready Room door its commander, and then the commander downloading We Look for Things - but if you do, you can cause some pain to your opponent and help yourself at the same time. Unless you're playing Borg (and sometimes even then), you'll usually be boosting your ships' attributes in some way. If not for offense, then for defense. Here comes the Mondor with its already respectable triple 8s, and it's Looking for Things. Your Things. The Incident can steal three card types, the least of which is Equipment cards. Equipment is usually very cheap and replaceable, and in any case, Plasmadyne Relay can already be downloaded by Reginod. Stealing Bio-Neural Gel Packs is useless unless you also have an Intrepid or Delta Flyer, and the same goes for the VR Headset unless your Pakleds are supplemeting the Dominion. Of course, it's not always about helping yourself, it can be about hurting your opponent. You can't use his card, but neither can he. In that vein, Events are usually the best place to start stealing. The ones played on the table affect many or all his ships, and may well affect many or all of yours! Some of these, like Bynars Weapon Enhancement and Metaphasic/Nutational Shields, are cumulative and might well exist in multiple copies in a deck. Getting one of those copies (opponent keeps the one in play) helps even out the odds. Many players rely on the simple Captain's Log for universal boosts as well. The most evil Thing to steal, of course, is an Artifact. They are usually more powerful than other cards, might have taken some effort to "dig up", and are unlikely to exist as a second copy in someone's draw deck. Players well known for using Kurlan Naiskos have it coming, if you ask me. Other possibilities include Data's Head and the Phased Cloaking Device (that'll teach 'em to stay phased around my ships). If you've included ship-boosting cards in your own deck, and your opponent uses an identical one, you might just use We Look for Things to download the card, getting the same bonus as your opponent without waiting. When wishing to avoid confrontation with powerful enemy ships, that might be a wise way to go, though the card's real strength is in the first function. A 3.8 here.

TOTAL: 14.53 (72.67%) You can keep looking, but this is pretty good already.

#2013-Weyoun's Warship, Ship, Dominion, TwT
"Jem'Hadar warship under the command of Weyoun. Stationed at Terok Nor during the Dominion/Cardassian reoccupation of the mining station."
-Battle Cruiser Class[1 Command, 2 Staff] Invasive Transporters, Tractor Beam; SD Engage Shuttle Operations: Dominion

PICTURE: Well that's more like it! I'm referring to other large Dominion ships looking, well, not that great. We get close enough to get an idea of size here, good toothy details, and vibrant colors. A very good 3.5.

LORE: Matching commander status predictably given to Weyoun, and then its posting. Ok, but dull, as is the card's title (we would have to wait for 2E to get an actual name). A 2.5.

TREK SENSE: Follows the pattern laid out by the universal version of the Jem'Hadar Warship, with the correct staffing (equivalent to the Galaxy-class) and special equipment. It adds a download of the Dominion version of the Engage Shuttle Operations card, which is a trick I believe we did see this ship pull. It's a natural for any Jem'Hadar Warship, so no objections here. Attributes are the same high level with an extra point in Range, though I'm not clear on why that attribute more than another. It made its way to DS9 swiftly, but no more than the rest of the fleet. Might be a tie-in with the download, putting your Attack Ships in the belly of your fastest ship. It's ok, just not quite satisfying. As a final point, co-matching commander status might have been given to Dukat, because he seemed to share it, but of course, there's no Dominion-affiliation Dukat, so the point is moot. As it improves on the universal's design, I have to give 4.2.

STOCKABILITY: The Dominion is loaded with universal ships they can Spacedoor, etc., but a unique ship has its advantages too. For one thing, it has its own matching commander, no VR Headset required. This makes Weyoun downloadable via Ready Room Door (a good personnel), which isn't possible with VR Headset/any ol' Vorta. Plaqued and Logged, the Warship becomes a massive 12-12-12, no stronger in battle than the universal Warship, but a touch faster. That speed can be used to good effect once you download Engage Shuttle Operations: Dominion. The various types of Attack Ship never have better than 6 RANGE, which impairs their usefulness in armada movement. Load 'em up into a fast ship (ta-daa!) and launch them into battle. Might just be worth pulling a Secret Agent Julian Bashir/'45 Dom Perignon/Spacedoor trick to get it out early. Let's not forget all the Dominion goodness of Invasive Transporters, and you've got a 4.2 on your hands.

TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Not the best, but pretty good.

#2027-Worf, Personnel, Non-Aligned, OS, TwT
"24th-century Klingon disguised as a 23rd-century trader. Brought back in time by Barry Waddle. Refused to discuss the mystery of the Klingon forehead ridges."
-CIVILIAN, SECURITY, Navigation, Anthropology; Once per game, may capture Barry Waddle if present; Staff icon

PICTURE: The colors are all over the map on this one, with the gold template, red background and greenish-gray costume really clashing. I don't even want to get into that striped undershirt. Can't really sign off on it despite it all being interesting. A 2.9.

LORE: His true origin is followed by what he posed as, which sets the context, as does the time travel story. The best part, of course, is the mention of the forehead ridges. That was a cop-out, but a funny cop-out. Enough for a 3.4 here.

TREK SENSE: Non-AU, OS personnel are a bit of a pain to gauge since they shouldn't really exist outside of an OS Time Location. What, Worf is gonna put on that ridiculous hat for the fun of it in the present? That said, these personnel may still have the OS icon, if only because they can be reasonably expected to have OS Equipment on their persons. Worf is Non-Aligned because, in the 23rd century, he couldn't pass himself off as Starfleet. Nor could he pass himself off as a Klingon because of the mysterious physical differences. Thus, he could not call on his real classification, because he lacks its authority. Civilian it is, and he's also downgraded to a Staff icon - he can help staff a ship, but couldn't command it. He's still trained in Security, so it shows up in his skills, as does the Navigation he's had since Premiere. It's only odd here since he doesn't really make use of it in the episode. On the flip-side, Honor is gone, probably because of his mounting frustration when faced with so many tribbles. Anthropology explains his knowledge of Klingon history (the Great Tribble Hunt, and the untold tale of the missing ridges). Since his job became putting the collar on Barry Waddle, he can capture that personnel. Only once per game? Where's Worf's hard-headedness and determination? Ok, as far as attributes go, the loss of Honor has cost him one point in Integrity (from the "DS9" FC version), and being a fish out of water, as well as the tribble influence also costs him one in Cunning. Strength remains the same. The concept is fuzzy in the first place, but the treatment is fair. A 3.

STOCKABILITY: A Non-Aligned OS personnel from the present that can be used with OS decks of any color. While he can help the Romulans, he'll fit in more with the Feds (Crew Reassignment to their ships) or Klingons (can download to the G'roth). Since he doesn't have an AU icon, he can also play with any non-Borg affiliation without using a Time Location or AU Door. As far as OS Equipment goes, he can use Agonizers to boost his stats (up to 10-9-10), remedying the couple drops he suffers in this version. With other OS personnel, he can of course share his skills with a Classic Communicator. The Classic Disruptor acts as an ordinary hand weapon. In every day situations, he's an ok personnel, with a fair and varied skill base, but a poor classification. Good STRENGTH for personnel battle, certainly. The special skill may make him particularly interesting to Tent. If your opponent pulls out Barry Waddle, capturing him is probably a good thing. See, Barry's either gonna try to pull off Hero of the Empire (you don't want that) or is just out to stop your Bajorans from running Return Orb to Bajor (we can't have that either). You might even use another Worf and pull a switch if it comes to that, with Sheriff Worf and maybe Duchamps being other NA possibilities for non-Feds and non-Klingons. That kind of pinch-hitting brings him up to 3.4, but is rather specialized.

TOTAL: 12.7 (63.5%) Now if he only gave up what he knows...

#2041-Yint, Personnel, Non-Aligned, universal, TwT
"Typical arms dealer. Humanoid who sold three defective Klingon disruptor rifles to Liam Bilby. Refused refund."
-CIVILIAN, Treachery, Stellar Cartography, Transporter Skill; SD Any Disruptor Rifle; Staff icon; Does not work with [Fed] affiliation

PICTURE: Very film noir, it's great how they've used Yint's mid-face ridge to play up the shadows in his face. Can't say I like his powder blue costume as much, however, and the sliver of light on the left frame's edge is annoying. But overall, a nice moody pic at 3.6.

LORE: Universality is mentioned, and "arms dealer" is very useful indeed. "Humanoid" is quite dull as a species, but the rest of his story is told well, if briefly. The last phrase is the kind of dry humor we've come to expect from STCCG and works very nicely, thank you. A 3.4 here.

TREK SENSE: Yint is meant to represent (small) arms dealers everywhere. Ok. These guys would be mercenary Civilians with low Integrity and Treachery. They would NOT work with the Federation (though why not the Mirror guys?). Transporter Skill is useful in moving the goods he trades in, or simply making quick escapes. Stellar Cartography would help take his business into different corners of the quadrant (as would the Staff icon, I suppose). I would have liked to see Acquisition or Greed here, perhaps even Security in that it would cover familiarity with weapons, so those omissions are working against Yint. The download is natural enough for an arms dealer, and certainly, the Yints of this world are little more than thugs (from Cunning and Strength), so would deal in hand weapons more than ship weapons. That it be Rifles relates to Yint specifically in "Honor Among Thieves" (though shouldn't they be deffective?), and speaks to smaller hand weapons being more easily procurable perhaps. Of course, the fact Kazon and Hirogen designs are more procurable than Bajoran ones may be jarring. Some thought went into his design, but missing skills bring him down to a 3.1.

STOCKABILITY: I don't need to sell you on the usefulness of arms dealers, and Yint is the only universal, plus he's Non-Aligned. Ok, Feds need not apply, but for most anyone else, he'll do the job. In the skills department, he's no Hagath, but he still has a useful trio. Transporter Skill, in particular, is excellent. His download can turn his STRENGTH of 7 into a 10 at a moment's notice, and of course, the +3 extends to other personnel present too. Or if playing with the Cardassians, the Bok'Nor can make a Cargo Run of it, plus whatever else you can use hand weapons for. As an arms dealer, he can use the 34th Rule to download Latinum when someone initiates a battle or damages a ship, and can report a Breen CRM114. As a Non-Aligned, he can report to an opponent's HQ and blow some holes into it. Being universal doesn't mean that you can use his download more than once per game, but a second Yint might pull that trick while another is doing business elsewhere. Calls for a good 3.7.

TOTAL: 13.8 (69%) Many decks could use a hint of Yint (now with a new spring-fresh scent).

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