To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Voyager expansion set.
PICTURE: Sikaris looks very nice, and it SHOULD with the Sikarans' reputation for generosity. The shadow in the center of the planet is a little strange, but an otherwise good-looking mission. A 3.6.
LORE: A lot of information here, and it's all made relevant by the game text, or almost all. I do like it. A 3.4.
TREK SENSE: Voyager missions which Alpha quadrant affiliations are allowed to attempt will, by definition, be open to many more people that what we saw on the show. Here, the Feds, Cardassians and Ferengi, all known to have been whisked to the Delta quadrant either by the Caretaker or the Barzan Wormhole, are included. Any of them would like to go home, and for the Ferengi at least, with the prospect of bringing back incredible new technology. NAs are not strictly an Alpha quadrant "affiliation", but we know these were caught by the Caretaker as well (the Maquis for example). The Kazon are included here because they are technological scavengers (they live on stolen Trabe ships and have raided Voyager a number of times for technology). Of course, since every game rewrites Trek history, there's no reason lost Romulans, Bajorans or Klingons wouldn't want to grab the ticket home too. In that regard, the card is incomplete. The first two skills required are of course used to install the trajector into your ship's systems. The rest are all options for acquiring the device despite the planet's laws against it. You have good ol' fashioned Acquisition (hammer out a deal in the Ferengi style), Diplomatic avenues with which it is much harder to succeed (Janeway didn't) so x3, the Tuvok'n'Seska way of Treachery (going behind the planetary government's back and selling stories on the black market) or the "we look for things" approach of the Pakleds. Funny, that last one. What's truly unfortunate here is that completing the mission doesn't actually give you any kind of Range boost. That's because the trajector isn't compatible with Federation technology, right? Well, what about Cardassian technology? Ferengi? Kazon? We'll never know. Of course, the mission is only "obtain trajector", but if it's so futile, why are the points so high? A slight problem, but a problem nonetheless. The Pakled presence really helps, but the card only clocks in at 3.7 which is still quite good.
SEEDABILITY: The ENGINEER/Physics combo isn't very difficult to find (and mission specialist Joseph Carey epitomizes it), but you have to think economically too, and that's where the requirements in the parentheses come in. The Kazon have a lot of Treachery, so that x2 should be real easy to find. Seska, for example, already has the ENGINEER and Treachery x2. Diplomacy is far less rampant, though a number of DQ NAs have it to help you complete the mission that way. As long as you're using NAs, you really should try it with Penk or Kurros, whose Acquisition only requires one personnel instead of three. And the Pakled isn't a bad choice either, since Danderdag is a support personnel which could conceivably report to any non-Borg ship in the Delta quadrant. He doesn't have any other skills required here, but you can always do with more Computer Skill, Navigation and SECURITY. If you can get Reginod there, he'll solve it all by himself. The Delta quadrant offers a lot of ENGINEER missions, so this one will fit in most any DQ deck. Even the Vidiians aren't barred from this since all they need is The Vidiian Sodality to enable their attempt, and they have just as many Physics ENGINEERs as everybody else. Of course, that means the mission is rather easy to steal, so use Fair Play to protect it. Alpha visitors which might be interested: Nog, either with the Feds or the Ferengi, has everything necessary to solve the mission, while going the Treachery or Diplomacy route will be more personnel-costly. I'd have to say this does well, though some of the options aren't as good as the others (but since they're options...) A 3.5.
TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) Voyager starts off well.
PICTURE: This cloudy planet is both beautiful and inhospitable, like a big smoky marble. Suits the mission and looks pretty - you can't usually ask much more from planet missions. A 3.4.
LORE: We never did find out the name of this planet from "Time and Again", only that of one of its provinces (Kalto). "Lifeless world" is a good subsitute and the rest of the lore is well done. Good title, too. A 3.4.
TREK SENSE: According to the episode, this planet's people destroyed themselves through the use of dangerous polaric ion energy, so the catastrophy would indeed be Physics-based, and Engineering-related too because the polaric energy came from some kind of power plant. As for the Honor or Treachery requirement, I just don't know. Does the mission suppose the Away Team automatically goes back in time, and there either change history or don't according to the controling ethical skill? I wouldn't be comfortable with that (Voyager undid the mission completely in doing so, certainly not reaping any points from it). I also don't know why the Romulans are specifically targeted by this mission. The Feds were attracted to it on the show, and the Non-Aligned pretty much represent all Delta quadrant people except the Kazon and Vidiians, but the Rommies? Ah, just opened up my trusty Encyclopedia and found that a Romulan colony was almost destroyed in this fashion. That's a good link, though not necessarily motivation. After all, if the mission is to determine the cause of the disaster, then its circumstances aren't known ahead of time. I'll justify it by saying that, with their experience, the Romulans might have a theory they want to prove about the planet's demise. Points seem a little high for a simple determination though. Some research went into the design, but some of it seems opaque to me. A still satisfying 3.8.
SEEDABILITY: ENGINEERs quite often have Physics, so this makes for a pretty easily solved DQ mission at 35 points. Of course, the only personnel with Physics x2 at the moment aren't ENGINEERs. They're both holographic Alpha Quadrant SCIENCEs: Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. Before you break out the Mobile Emitters, you might want to check out the many Physics personnel available in the Delta Quadrant, and you'll find them as much in the Federation as in the Kazon and Vidiian affiliations (which can attempt a Non-Aligned mission with their incidents). In the DQ, Treachery is more common than Honor, so that'll often be the way to go, even for the Feds. Visiting Romulans won't find the mission too difficult (Sorus and/or Nevala would be of help), but their presence on the card is more for flavor than utility. A rather plain mission then, certainly useable in the viable Physics/ENGINEER strategies of the Delta Quadrant, but not spectacular. A 3.4.
TOTAL: 14 (70%) Not a disaster.
PICTURE: The front of the saucer's not bad in itself, but the creature is obvious (and not very impressive) CGI. Add to that a lousy composition with Voyager seeming to be the aggressor instead of the space-slug, and real lousy, fake-looking shadows to get a 1.7 on this one, cytoplasm "starfield" or not.
LORE: Not bad, though a little more time could have been spent on either the concequences or solutions to the dilemma. I'm just saying that because there's space left in the box. It's generally ok, and an explanation for Anthropology's presence is at least attempted. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: I wasn't under the impression that these slugs (from "Elogium") were sentient. So their aggressive nature would be better understood through Exobiology than Anthropology, don't you think? The dilemma would in fact have worked better as a space/planet card, at least with that particular (vague) title and Anthropology-related game text. Think about it: You can encounter Aggressive Behavior pretty much anywhere. As an aggressive spaceborne creature, I'll balk at the Anthropology since I think it was more a matter of biology than culture, and that throws the card entirely out of whack. Say they used Exobiology x2 instead of Anthro, then one of those Exos (Anthros) could be replaced by Leadership and high Cunning. A smart enough group can come up with an expert's answers if well coordinated. They'd have the help of a true Exobiologist (Anthropologist) anyway. That's fine. The results are better tuned to the critters, with ship damage and even a casualty (though with damage markers, this may be redundant). Sorry, can't give more than 2.2.
SEEDABILITY: The biggest advantage here may be surprise since there are very few Anthropology dilemmas period, and even fewer Anthropology-driven space dilemmas. 2 Anthros may be a bit much for some crews to come up with. A single Anthro matched with lots of CUNNING and Leadership will also pass it, which is easier, but requires more personnel (though both skills figure on about a dozen personnel). Only Chakotay has double-Anthropology, by the way. He can be Non-Aligned, but remains DQ-icon. The effect is excellent: Not only does it damage a ship, it also kills one crew member at random AND acts as a wall. Combined with a battle bridge side-deck, this card can do a lot more damage than other "ship damaged" dilemmas, thanks to a possible extra casualty inherent to the card. A potential choice to lead into Abandon Ship (if ship unrepaired on second go) at 3.8.
TOTAL: 10.8 (54%) Was I a little vicious with this one?
PICTURE: One of many pinkish clouds featured on Voyager missions, for a while I thought they could all be strung together as one big image, but no. Looks good, though strangely blurry. I might've traded the ominous nature of the card for tiny ships coming out of the cloud, but that might have taken away from the generic element, so okay. A pretty enough 3.4.
LORE: Does an ionized hydrogen cloud not count as a nebula? I'm no expert or anything, but isn't a nebula a body of rarified gas and/or dust? Hydrogen is a gas. What was wrong with the idea of Delta quadrant Isabella decks? The lore is otherwise quite well written. A 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Aside from the nebula issue, there's a universality issue. The mission location is basically unnamed and no affiliation is singled out, so it could have been universal. Only the high point values keep it from being so, is my guess. It's a very generic mission, available to everyone but the Federation since it falls well outside their ethics. The Delta Quadrant is chockful of raider-type peoples anyway, so it fits in well there. The Kazon raid you for technology, the Vidiians for organs and the Hirogen for trophees. Non-Aligneds can choose any reason. Alpha/Gamma Quadrant affiliations might Ambush Ships to get what they need to survive in an alien environment. All it takes is enough Leadership to initiate battle, which would just be 1. That it takes 2 isn't obvious except that it might be required to make your troops do something dangerous. But you still start off from a confident platform with a ship with Weapons of 10 or more. Now, you could certainly raid a shuttle with just a medium-sized cruiser, but since no ship actually need "exist" (as a card anyway), the Weapons couldn't be dependent on its attributes. The card makes a difference between attacking generic (non-card) ships and named (represented by a card) ships by upping the points in case an opposing ship IS present. That's pretty mechanical in concept, but the idea is condusive to storytelling by encouraging an actual ship to be there. Unfortunately, the mission does not affect that ship when solved. Any real Ambushing must be made with separate cards and is totally optional. "Boo! Oh, sorry about that." As for the Span, in "Maneuvers", Voyager was flying through a long stretch of space where they were constantly attacked by Kazon. It works. So basically good, with some pitfalls. A 3.7.
SEEDABILITY: A pretty easy mission for Delta Quadrant affiliations, certainly, and well worth the 30 points. Culluh is one Kazon who has the double-Leadership for it, but he's currently the only one in the DQ. The high WEAPONS is another easily gotten requirement for the DQs since native ships are quite powerful. The Kazon Warship rates a 12, and the Vidiian Cruiser rates an even 10. Wanna bet the Hirogen are gonna have ships with more than 9 WEAPONS too? Alpha Quadrant visitors who want to Ambush someone include the Keldon Advanced, Breen Warship, Dominion Battleship, IKC Negh'Var, Regency 1, D'deridex Advanced, Edo Vessel, Fesarius (despite the attack restriction) and plenty of ships with Captain's Log. 30 points is fine, but the 45 would make a great complement to, say, Restore Victims (55 points). The idea then is to make a ship stop here in time for your mission attempt. Hail will do it, but the DQ offers other possibilities, such as a rerouted Barzan Wormhole. And once you have them present, it's not like their presence is wasted. The Kazon can board them for another 10 to 20 points. The Vidiians can do the same with the Boarding Claw and harvest their organs for more personnel or points. I bet the Hirogen will have just as much to do here. So as long as you're going to perpetrate evil on your opponent, might as well solve a mission while you're at it. I give this one a 4.1.
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Just have to know how to use it right.
PICTURE: A very strange image, but it does come from Chakotay's visions (IS a vision according to the card's title). The very light colors are interesting, but beset by that dark stripe to the left, really hurting the composition. Could have been a very subtle card with a little more close-up. Ah well... A 3.3 for now.
LORE: Starts off with folklore, then finishes with specific events from the show. Well done, though the concept/game text relationship remains a little nebulous. A good 3.3.
TREK SENSE: Effects that offer card draws are a little too mechanical in most cases, and here you would have to take it very conceptually to accept it. A vision comes to your personnel, and that epiphany/illumination/realization gives them something. The something should be spiritual, but most cards are more material. Even when they're not (when they represent ideas and strategies your personnel might come up with), they still have nothing to do with the Sky Spirits. The fact that it may only be played in the Delta Quadrant is due to the Sky Spirits' origin in that part of space. This doesn't jibe so much with the card's required personnel. I'll explain why. Instead of requiring a Native American (which are truly the spiritual descendents of the Sky Spirits), it requires any personnel with high Integrity and Honor. Ok, all human cultures might actually have a link to the Sky Spirits, but what about Klingons? Kazon? Jem'Hadar? There's no real link there. Here's how to explain it: Honorable personnel might have some kind of spiritual connection to their ancestors (honor you parents, etc.), and certainly, this could be said of the Klingons (though probably not of the Jemmies). Such Visions might be possible for them. The problem is thus the focus on the DQ since there's no reason to believe everyone's ancestors would be from there. Chakotay's, yes (and he does get a conceptually-fitting double-draw), but not everyone. Choice of planet is up to you, but are all DQ planets acceptable targets? Probably not. A minor point in this concept-fest anyway. Interesting and all that, but it can't really translate into actual happenings (like an actual vision, eh?). A 2.1.
STOCKABILITY: Native Honor is limited in the Delta Quadrant (until we get the Klingons anyway), but there's gotta be something to balance out this Cochrane Memorial-type card-drawing engine. As of the Voyager expansion, there are only 2 Vidiians (Motura and Denara Pel), 1 Kazon (Karden) and a couple Feds (Tabor and Chakotay, though they can both be used as other affiliations) that respect both requirements (without a teddy bear, that is). Even with INTEGRITY boosters, you'll only get a couple Kazon and three Feds more. Which isn't to say your Alpha and Gamma Quadrant personnel wouldn't be interested. In fact, an Alpha Quadrant deck with a short one-mission DQ spaceline could be used to get card draws. Simply relocate your Honorable personnel to that mission using whatever means you choose (Mysterious Orb, for example), and it should be quite easy to keep it safe so long as opposing ships and personnel are Quadrant-locked. Using Chakotay this way is a little harder since he usually reports to the Delta Quadrant, but isn't impossible (Temporal Micro-Wormhole is your best bet). Chuckles can work with any non-Borg affiliation as a Non-Aligned anyway, so that's not an issue. Card-drawing engines are a great way to supplement your hand, get the cards you need more quickly, etc. and become an integral part of deck manipulation strategies when combined with Handshake, Mutation, Regenerate, etc. Warning, if opponent has access to Delta Quadrant, you'll need to protect your personnel, and will probably have to keep some cards at the planet. Might as well solve it while you're there, so I recommend planet missions that require Honor anyway, such as Aftermath and Study Interment Site. It's not immune to Kevin Uxbridge either, so watch out for that. A keeper at 4.1.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) A little disappointed with some of the elements, but not the effect.
PICTURE: A nice, full outer space scene, with gases, stars and planets, but I can't help but dislike the sharp angles on some of those gases. It's not dark matter blocking the flow of the amber nebulae because you can see stars through it. Thing is, this is probably based on a Hubble photograph or something. I like the variety, but find the image unsatisfying. A 2.9.
LORE: If you don't recognize it, this is from the episode "Revulsion" with the psychotic hologram and his holographic goldfish. The lore uses the term used for hologram in the episode, which adds the right flavor and makes this a 3.3.
TREK SENSE: Well, I'm a little disturbed by the presence of an Officer in the requirements, since the episode only made use of The Doctor (Medical) and B'Elanna (Engineer). Both would be sent over to a ship to check its passengers and systems. Of course, the psycho holo doesn't really need a doctor. An Officer would be required to coordinate matters, but with so few personnel required, what is there to coordinate? It doesn't quite work. Of course, you don't need to leave your ship to attempt the mission (that needs a fix for space missions that have "beaming destinations" such as other ships), so the Officer might just be giving orders. But aren't they always? Since the holo is afraid of flesh and blood people, a bonus for using a hologram on the mission attempt makes a certain amount of sense. It makes the mission more successful by having less opposition from the deranged "projection". Span's good for what is supposed to be an entire people's "space", but one that was passed rather quickly by Voyager. Any crew may attempt the mission, all depending on who gets the signal, and we can always imagine more hostile affiliations being less than nice to the surviving hologram. Maybe they're answering the signal to steal technology (or body parts!) from the wounded ship. Requirements would still count, but not in all cases. Lastly, the mission begs for a built-in dilemma, but doesn't have one. Does the hologram not try to kill anyone from the attempting crew? Too bad, but this mission misses a lot of opportunities despite covering a few of them adequately. A 3.3.
SEEDABILITY: An easy 30-pointer for any affiliation, Answer Distress Signal requires only easily-gotten classifications. ENGINEER and MEDICAL are key personnel, and OFFICERs are a dime a dozen. Delta quadrant holograms are currently rare (The Doctor is pretty much it), but they'll add 10 points to the score if used to solve the mission. The Doctor is at least MEDICAL, so fits right in. Holodeck Adventures will certainly give us more DQ holos making this a staple mission I'm sure, but until then, you can use Alpha Quadrant holos brought to the DQ is some fashion (normal travel, Micro-Wormhole, etc.). The Kazon and Vidiians each have an incident allowing them to work with the Federation Doctor if they should choose to use the mission. The Federation can also use one of the Brahms to add mission specialist points to the mission for an extra-easy 45 points in all. If you're just going in quick, Tom Paris has all three classifications. A cool 3.8.
TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) Yeah... a lot of missions in Voyager's A's.
PICTURE: The make-up on this guy looks better from a side-view or ¾-view, I'm afraid. As is, it's pretty average. The costume is interestingly icky, but the background looks like some kind of ricepaper japanese house, severely out of context. Can't say I find the colors too palatable either. A 2.6.
LORE: Rather well done. I like how he's not just another humanoid, but still has an unknown species. All the story's elements are there, including his powers as a linguist. The only thing missing is matching commander status for the Dauntless, which better mean it shows up on an eventual Dauntless ship card. Enough here for a 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Just the fact that he singlehandedly built a ship with both its own configuration and that of a Federation ship (with slipstream drive to boot), is deserving of a double-Engineer. I would even have accepted x3. Certainly explains the Cunning and the very much à propos special download (more sensical here than with most personnel). The Diplomacy has to do with his convincing Voyager that he was on the side of the angels. Anthropology is not only connected to his linguist skills, but to the fact he approximated Federation designs on the Dauntless. Computer Skill was required to program the holoprojectors on the ship to make it look Federation. And finally, there's the Treachery afforded by his revenge scheme. Integrity mitigates it a little because he was acting out of pain rather than evil, and I have no problems with the Strength. The Staff icon could have been replaced with a Command icon since he did command his ship, but the fact he commanded no crew and offered himself up as a virtual crewmember of the ship helps out here. A very good special download puts this card over the top, but the rest is quite level anyway. A 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: Since Arturis isn't the only Non-Aligned double-ENGINEER in the Delta quadrant (B'Elanna Torres can easily be used as NA), he's not quite unique, but 4 ENGINEERs for the price of 2 certainly isn't something you'd spit on. That ENGINEERing will come in handy when the Dauntless comes out (provided it does mention him as matching commander) so that Construct Starship can be downloaded at a moment's notice, immediately downloading that ship. Right now, well, it can be used to download any other matching commander's ship as per that card's game text. In fact, there's nothing stopping you from downloading ships in the Alpha Quadrant while's he's the Delta. Or, of course, you can download an extra Outpost or HQ, or even a Spacedock. His other skills are good too. Diplomacy and Computer Skill are useful in a number of situations, the former beinge relatively rare among the Kazon and Vidiians, the latter, common on DQ missions. Anthropology is certainly required for a couple DQ missions and such dilemmas as Aggressive Behaviour and isn't so common either. Finally, Treachery goes very well with some of the DQ affiliation profiles, and certainly helps with War Council. And great CUNNING too. I'd say Arturis is a strong personnel which is bound to get stronger. A 3.9.
TOTAL: 14.2 (71%) Hmm, the Borg certainly took their time assimilating his species...
PICTURE: I thought the original Assassin's Blade looked ridiculous. The new one is much better despite the image being a little washed out as far as colors go. Still, it's not like the kut'luch seen here was used by an assassin in its source episode ("Real Life"). Focus isn't that great either. I'm gonna have to give it a 2.8 (which is still way better than the original).
LORE: Like the original, it uses its second sentence to nail the whole Assassin's Blade business, but too much of the text is used to describe the ceremonial weapon depicted. The second sentence's explanation sounds a little strained to me (even if I accept that the Doc's "son" was gonna commit a crime, "assassination" is a bit much). There's nothing wrong with the prose used, it's just put to the service of the wrong master. A 2.6.
TREK SENSE: I originally gave high marks to Assassin's Blade, and it still makes as much sense as ever. An Assassin kills, yes, and you choose the target because it's not a random killing. Knives don't do much to hurt androids and changelings. And to stop the Assassin, you either use your Cunning to figure out his identity before he strikes, or have 2 Security present to arrest him. The only small problem I saw was that you had to justify the dilemma's staying power. Then, I proposed the killer sticking around killing witnesses and such until captured. In the Voyager environment, there's nothing that needs to be changed in that review, though the whole package (with picture and lore) is not as easy to gobble up. See, the Delta Quadrant isn't exactly full of Klingons, and the kut'luch, while able to kill someone, isn't as good an assassin's weapon as the D'k Tagh is. Doesn't quite gel using this perspective, but I'll still give it high marks for its game text. A 4.5.
SEEDABILITY: What I said originally still stands here too. It's a good killer/wall combination though the requirements aren't that tough to overcome, especially with the Security revival of the last few expansions. But giving it a score in the Voyager environment, you have to check out if it's as easy for DQ personnel. 2 SECURITY will be easy for the Kazon and the Hirogen, event the Borg and Feds, but the Vidiians will usually have to use the Cunning option. And that's just it, everybody has Cunning, so the dilemma will not hit larger Away Teams. Divide and conquer, fix things up for redshirt situations, and you'll kill at least one personnel. And in the DQ, there are no androids or changelings to exclude from selection. A bit better in Voyager than it was in DS9 at 3.5.
TOTAL: 13.4 (67%) Compare to the original's 68.5%. Close.
PICTURE: While I was, frankly, a fan of the original (a deleted scene or interesting CGI, original orange hues), this new one has a few things going for it. For one thing, the personnel are actually being assigned as we watch (by B'Elanna) and where the FC version did not feature all mission specialists, these non-descript engineers might well be. The parallel between the two versions, with people just standing around in engineering, isn't wasted on me either. Still, the card is visually poorer by virtue of its more standard color palette, shallower shadows and B'Elanna's horrible first season head prosthetic/hair style. But since it is more appropriate than the original, it gets a higher 3.1.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: I said of the original that it was an impeccable 5 which went down to 4.7 when it was errataed to not be a Captain's Order. All of that still stands though the card is better written now, with a definition of "mission specialist" right there on the card. The "Assignment" as such is represented by the download to an outpost and works fine. The concept itself does too, since single-skill personnel may well have become experts in their single field (they haven't trained at anything else it seems). And the 5-point bonus on mission attempts shows how such expertise makes you get a little more out of a mission - stronger treaties forged by Diplomacy specialists, more detailed discoveries by science specialists, etc. Trek Sense of some specialists may vary, but the card that started it all (and now continues it) is still worth its 4.7.
STOCKABILITY: Again, not much of a shift from the original review. If anything we've gotten more and more mission specialists for the affiliations that can use them (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, some Non-Aligneds, and now the Ferengi, but in a more limited way). At the same time, a lot of new affiliations have sprung up that, like the Bajorans and Cardassians, do not have mission specialists: the Dominion, Kazon, Vidiians and now Hirogen. Interesting how, thematically, only the affiliations featured regularly on TNG have mission specialists. Anyhoo, the download of 2 personnel right off the bat (by seeding the card) is a good kick-off, especially if their skills correspond to easy missions in your corner of the spaceline, and if they can staff whatever ship you Spacedoored there. Easy missions usually offer low points, but mission specialists can get those up to specs, so it doesn't matter. A big mission, if using lots of mission specialists can even net you a 2-mission win. The card is used for various strategies, whether it be simply supplementing standard point values or creating a highly redundant mission profile with smaller requirements. The Klingons use it to get a fast Klingon Intelligence personnel close to Earth or to get a large number of Honor specialists to boost their missions, etc. Though the Delta Quadrant environment has only a little more than half a dozen mission specialists, let's not forget that the initial download (or any later downloads) don't need to adhere to quadrant reporting restrictions. So it's an easy way for the Alphas to use DQ, Mirror and OS personnel in their decks, or vice-versa. Gee, it actually got a little better in the last couple years. A 4.6.
TOTAL: 16.53 (82.67%) Went up by a couple percents.
PICTURE: Interesting. The planet itself looks good, though the Photoshop-type texturizing looks a bit like such around the horizon. I do like its colors, how the shadow falls on it, and the glow from the other side. What's most interesting however is how the Nekrit Expanse creeps up on the planet to the left. It makes the location clearly part of the region, if only on its outskirts. As far as colors go however, that's where the card stumbles. The nebula by itself, fine; the planet by itself, fine; together, they really clash and appear gaudy, especially with the yellows and blues present in other elements of the card. Still makes for an interesting 3.5.
LORE: First off, I do like the name of the unnamed planet. "Factionalized colony" is to the point and original. The lore is clear about the planet fitting into a region, and the mission objectives are interestingly written though the word "to" may be superfluous. A 3.5 here too.
TREK SENSE: The main problem with this card is that I'm not sure who's solving it. In the show, Chakotay was "helping", and though he's considered Fed/NA, he was more Fed than anything. The bonus points for using former Borg (Com) seems to pit the mission in the hands of the Cooperative itself (Riley, Orum, etc.). They are more clearly Non-Aligned too. But if the mission is to "help group", then the group iself should be included in the mission attempt without a player having to use them himself. Note that while there is some confusion, this is a minor point since a [Com] personnel like Seven of Nine could help with its greater understanding of Borg communication. Indeed, it takes a former Com drone to appreciate the link. And it's not like it's a mission requirement, so this could just be Riley standing there and being more appreciative than former drone Bob, resulting in higher points (no doubt due to viewer attachment to actual characters). That all said, the requirements themselves make a great deal of sense. Networking all those cyber-minds would require a great deal of Computer Skill and Engineering and I guess even Science. You've got to set up machinery to broadcast the hive mind, map some brain patterns and tune in to implants. It's all there, but the initial confusion surrounding attemptability keeps the card at... yes, 3.5.
SEEDABILITY: If using the Nekrit Expanse Region, you simply have to include Assist Cooperative. It'll help balance your spaceline with a planet, and has some of the requirements featured on its space cousin, the universal Catalog Phenomena. That way, you can really keep your missions together and always requiring the same basic skills. And there's no lack of these in the Delta Quadrant which can be quite ENGINEER-related if you want it to be. Computer Skill is a very common skill, and the other two requirements are classifications. Easy 30 points. For 40 points, you could always use Seven of Nine in NA mode, and really should think about doing so since she fits all the requirements AND scores the bonus points. Wow. Of course, if you don't own a copy of that card, or lose her on the way, The Borg expansion has just given us a large number of former/non-collective drones, but only a few have the Communications subcommand: One, Orum, P'Chan, Rebi and Azan, and Riley Frazier. That's not bad actually. Most can contribute some Computer Skill and sometimes SCIENCE. The 40 points for just one personnel though, is too good to pass up, and the mission has other uses as well. A strong 4.
TOTAL: 14.5 (72.5%) One more tight DQ mission.
PICTURE: A nice enough gaseous phenomenon (I once read the FX creators were worried they couldn't make all of these distinct), it nonetheless looks patched together oddly because of the different colors involved (I know some particles are red-shifted, others blue-shifted here, but it just looks badly composited). To be fair, a 3.2.
LORE: Lots of Voyager-ish technobabble (which is fine in this context). All the elements are there, including a specific recorded victim. Nothing too interesting of course. A 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Before heading into the requirements, allow me to mention the pitiful effect. This thing destroyed a facility, and in the show, almost caused the ship's destruction. Why then, does it attack only one personnel present? Yes, we have plenty of "damages ship" dilemmas already, but Astral Eddy doesn't work any other way. The requirements make more sense though. Navigation would allow you to avoid it, Physics, undertsand it, and ENGINEER, counter its effects on the ship. See? All techie stuff which doesn't point to any specific biological targets. Can't give it more than a 2, even with a complete requirement list like that.
SEEDABILITY: 4 separate skills are required to avoid a random death here, and the dilemma is a wall to boot. Yes Navigation and ENGINEER are your usual dilemma passers and will be present, but Physics has only recently been mentioned on a couple of dilemmas. Will THAT skill be present? You can set up Astral Eddy with dilemmas that target SCIENCE and ENGINEER personnel, hoping to catch not only that last classification, but Physics personnel too. Not only is the death what you're looking for in a dilemma, but the Eddy will stick around so that the death WILL be in vain. Personnel can pass it even less after it. Space dilemmas had been lacking in, and since, Premiere, but they're doing a little better now with such inflated requirements. Oh, a couple personnel can pass it alone (Geordi and Rom), but that's it. It's a strong 3.9.
TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) So THAT's why inflated personnel are needed in the Voyager environment ;-).
PICTURE: Orange is less dramatically appropriate than red, and the letters are not in sharp focus. We do get a fun instance of the magic number 47 though, and the panel is made a little more dynamic by being skewed at a slight angle. Still don't think it's better than the original, so only 2.8.
LORE: Ah, here we have a better-than-the-original effort. The Premiere version of the card had a dictionary-like definition, but Voyager's is way more dramatic, and does a good job of describing the reasons behind this concept in the series. A strong showing at 3.6.
TREK SENSE: Nothing's changed much since Premiere. Though the game text is a little clearer, there's still no countdown icon on the card (which would have been appropriate, if more or less unnecessary). The card doesn't take into account a ship's size, so that an exploding Borg Cube and an exploding shuttle affect ships pretty much the same way (though the damaging aspect of that explosion is fun, if not entirely supported by the show; indeed, ships in space are usually too far apart to take out another ship with them). In fact, I'm not sure shuttles HAVE Auto-Destruct systems (though jury-rigging the core might do it). It also doesn't require you to have Command level Officers aboard, which has always been a given on the show. Since the last review, it has also become possible to commandeer ships, which brings up the point that this new crew would probably not have access to the codes necessary to initiate Auto-Destruct (more jury-rigging?). Oh, the effect itself makes sense (ship goes boom in a short while, explosion affects ships with low Shields), but the details aren't much to look at. Slightly down to a 2.4.
STOCKABILITY: There are too ways to use this card. The first is defensively, to destroy your ship with intruders aboard before they can commandeer or assimilate it. Since the explosion occurs on your turn, you'd have time to launch a shuttle, beam down to a planet or board an Escape Pod, but your opponent would need either a Pod or Emergency Transporter Armbands to, hem hem, best Kruge voice here, GET OUT OF THERE! In the Delta Quadrant, there's a heck of a lot of intruding going on, with Kazon Boarding Pods, Vidiian organ harvesting, Hirogen hunting, and the dreaded Borg, just make sure you blow up the ship before it falls to enemy hands. The other way to use the card is offensively, thanks to its damaging of ships with 7 or less SHIELDS (but this is difficult to do, especially in the DQ, since most ships have SHIELDS boosted beyond this point), or by gaining control of opponent's ship briefly and blowing it up as you leave (say with Neural Servo Device, or Alien Parasites even). Since last we discussed the card, it's become the special download of a couple personnel, including the OS Romulan Keras (who can sneak in close to another ship under cloak, then blow the ship up for damage), and the DQ Klingon Kohlar. Not sure why I gave the original a 4, but now it deserves it more.
TOTAL: 12.8 (64%) Up by a percent!
PICTURE: A lot of lines and angles make up Ayala's image, right down to the angle we see him from. Everything's crisp and clear and well balanced composition-wise. The different colored borders are not part of the pic itself, but they do have an effect on the pic. In this case, the blue Fed border works best because it counterpoints the yellow of his uniform. Yellow is just same old, same old, y'know? I'll give my opinion on these variants when I come upon them, but don't expect two sets of Picture scores. The image itself scores a 3.4.
LORE: Versatile indeed. Ayala is the DQ equivalent of Darian Wallace, played by an actor who was all over the place in the show, as often happens to extras. On Voyager, it makes some measure of sense even, and his postings will all turn up on the card. A fine 3.4 despite the missing universality acknowledgment.
TREK SENSE: Ayala is both Federation (if being used in the "now") and Non-Aligned (if treated as a Maquis). Of course, I don't think these Fed/NA personnel are too sensible since they retain DQ nativity, and weren't Maquis for very long there. Then again, you might argue that some Maquis didn't pledge full allegiance to Janeway and you'd be right. As for the DQ icon's presence on these cards (Ayala is the first Voyager Fed on the list), I'll accept it as explained in various Voyager mechanics, so I'll deal with them more fully when these turn up. As with Wallace, it's odd that a mission specialist should be described as a generalist. The Astrophysics IS explained however by his stint at ops. Security on the other hand, is a proven fact as he's guarding the brig even as we look at him here. The attributes and icons check out, nothing to say there. He's far from perfect, requiring us to accept the unlikely skill combo on a universal (though like I said, it's more likely on Voyager than a ship at home), but for the most part well justified. A 3.
STOCKABILITY: Now that we have plenty of Maquis personnel, we really need mechanics for them. Right now, it pretty much stands (in Ayala's case anyhow) at getting attribute boosts from Ro Laren and Chakotay, staffing the Liberty and passing Arms Deal. Ayala will really find his niche though as a Non-Aligned Astrophysics mission specialist. The Feds already have Soren on the Alpha Quadrant side of the border, where admittedly most of the Astrophysics missions are, but the DQ has a few as well (6 actually, and some of them in the 40-45 point range already). This doesn't mean you can't use him in the AQ either, so if you ever cross him over (easily done by downloading him via Assign Mission Specialists), you'll get access to close to 20 more. And that's because any affiliation (save Borg) can use him, so it opens mission specialty up for Vidiians, Hirogen and Kazon, especially now with Angelo Tassoni and Hogan. And in the AQ, the Romulans probably have the most to gain from another space mission specialist. The improbable SECURITY/Astrophysics isn't bad either as targeting SCIENCE won't eliminate a still important and sometimes rare skill. And while he doesn't have Soren's special androgyny, he does have slot machine attributes, which affords a small bonus. Enough for a 3.7.
TOTAL: 13.5 (67.5%) Like the lore says, he's pretty flexible.
PICTURE: Though I never liked the pocket protector on B'Elanna's "pregnancy jacket" (when the actress but not the character became pregnant, they put a jacket on her to hide it, just like they did for Beverly Crusher), it did explain why such a jacket would be useful on an engineer (to carry tools). Well, almost. I mean, why did she stop wearing it? Why don't any other engineers wear one? Etc. Here, it's understated, and at the same time, gives her a slightly different look than all the other "uniforms". Good background, and better make-up and hair on her than in the first season. It's also a classic pose for B'Elanna, arms crossed, teasingly asking questions to Tom Paris or something. As for the difference between borders, well, much like Ayala, the gold of her uniform is balanced by the blue Fed border, while the Non-Aligned gold is just too "same old, same old". I very good effort at transposing the more positive aspects of her personality into the picture. A 3.9.
LORE: What strikes me here is how well they wrote her mixed heritage into the storyline rather than start things off with a boring "½ human, ½ Klingon bla bla bla". The rest is more workmanlike, with Maquis/Federation duality and her love interest thrown in. It does, however, date her as a late series B'Elanna (the pic is from before the wedding though, oops). A good, but not great 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Chief engineer (perfectly acceptable double-Engineer) and no Command icon? Well, not only is she a Maquis with less authority on the ship (though a later B'Elanna might have more), but she, like the similar Bashir, is only a junior officer. So okay. Even a later B'Elanna would have the Maquis icon, and one could argue, NA capability, since she remained loyal to her old group for a long time. Skills? As The Doctor's own physician, she gets Computer Skill x2, enough programming savvy to deal with a sentient hologram. Astrophysics was part of her character as early as the second episode, "Parallax". Cybernetics was on show in that robot episode, "Prototype". And Transporter Skill was also featured a couple times, no problems there. I might have enjoyed a special download with that (like Divert Power), but what's on there is all quite justifiable, and nothing I can think of is missing. Attributes do just about as well, though something could be said about lowering her Integrity (in some episodes) and upping her Cunning (again, in her more techno-babbly moments), but overall, I think they're just. A strong, and not bloated (which has been the principal criticism about the Voyager mains), 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: Torres is an excellent DQ mission solver. She's mentioned specifically on a couple of missions (Prevent Annihilation and Investigate Quantum Singularity), and otherwise has an excellent skill list, with a mix of always-needed abilities, and some of the rarer ones. The Delta Quadrant is severely tilted toward ENGINEER decks, and she fits right it. Missions are one thing, but she also passes her fair share of dilemmas, such as Spatial Rift and Borg Servo (in Borg space no less). Astrophysics and Transporter Skill are some of the rarer skills here, and much needed. While she's nominally Federation affiliation, she can actually work with any affiliation by switching to NA. The Kazon will appreciate her Transporter Skill certainly, and Vidiians and Hirogen might enjoy her doubled ENGINEER. And practically nobody has Cybernetics in the Delta Quadrant. Her Computer Skill x2 makes her downloadable to hand via Quark's Isolinear Rods, and The ENGINEER/Computer Skill combo allows her to use Divert Power. Furthermore, there are currently 2 versions of her persona for extra flexibility (to get some SECURITY and a boost to the Liberty). Attributes are all in the comfort range too. An all-purpose ENGINEER who'll do a good turn for all parties involved at 4.4.
TOTAL: 16 (80%) I think the Voyager mains will do real well.
PICTURE: Not as strong as the FC version after all since that came from a luscious feature film, while this pic is from a B-episode (at best) of a television show. Still, we get a character precariously hanging on like in the original. It's just unfortunate that we don't really get an expression on the tiny Tuvok's face (hey, we hardly ever get one in close-ups), the color palette is boring, and the set looks kind of fake. Good diagonal composition though. A 3.2.
LORE: Where the other card's lore was a bit-heavy handed in driving the concept forward (in an attempt to glean some Trek Sense from a non-sensical situation), this version is much more subtle about it, and that's nice. It's a good choice for a new Balancing Act since Tuvok is effectively between a planet and outer space. The story is told with some flair as well. A great choice and worth its 4.1.
TREK SENSE: The card STILL has no basis in Trek Sense. Never are the characters penalized for attempting MOSTLY one type of mission or the other ("totally" one type, maybe). The game simply cannot represent the entirety of an affiliation's operations anyway, only a few ships' and only for a short time. Some ships have space or planet-specific tours of duty/functions, etc. And it's not even about solving those missions, simply having them on scanners. I gave a rare 0 to the original, and I'm sticking with it here.
SEEDABILITY: Let the meta-game continue! You need not seed Balancing Act for it to have an effect, since most players will adhere to its "at least 2 of each type" rule to avoid the flat (and massive) 50-point loss. It doesn't kill unbalanced spacelines altogether, but makes them way riskier, and if you've been had in the past by a player who doesn't leave you anywhere to seed your planet dilemmas, you know how sweet revenge can be. Reprinting it here makes sure the Delta Quadrant (i.e. Voyager-only games) sticks to the same meta-rules. The DQ ain't no new opportunity to use cheesy strategies. 3.3 should again cover it.
TOTAL: 10.6 (53%) Still manages to do pretty well for a card with a 0.
PICTURE: We'd seen the Barzan Wormhole as the generic Wormhole interrupt (and Wormhole Negotiations mission), but this one's more impressive thanks to the bleed, though not more beautiful. Interesting to note that both versions have a Ferengi shuttle spinning into it, hardly noticeable on the interrupt, here, pretty detailed. It's so well-defined, it almost looks pasted on or blue-screened. A fun image, but a little simple both in composition and color palette. I'm game for a 3.3.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: The ideas here are really quite lovely. They use the fact that the Barzan Wormhole exists at Wormhole Negotiations and that the other end is unstable to make a really sensical card. As seen from the Alpha Quadrant, the Wormhole is a way into the Delta or Gamma Quadrant (depending on the day). The Wormhole was certainly stable enough for multiple trips to the same location until it later shifted. The shifting is accomplished by the second function of the card which relocates the doorway. In other ways, this Wormhole works like the Bajoran Wormhole, stopping a ship after it comes out of the tunnel, which makes sense since the trip takes a little out of you, and you need the time to get your bearings. Its Span is a little longer, maybe because it's more of a distortion on the space/time continuum (remember: the Bajoran Wormhole was hard to spot). It makes more sense in its location though, since in the game, the Bajoran Wormhole is constantly shifting, never at the same place in the Bajoran region, and never at the same place in the Gamma Quadrant though it should be quite fixed. The only stain on its record is the very last function. The problem is not with introducing a staffed ship with the Wormhole, but that the ship need not be from the Gamma or Delta Quadrant. Seems like the simple inclusion of Quadrant icons to qualify the ship and crew would have been enough. If the Wormhole can appear in the Alpha Quadrant, that's not confirmed by the earlier-mentioned mechanics, so I wouldn't want to see them appear here. Or could it be said that AQ ships reporting here are, like in "The Price", bidding on Wormhole rights? The Barzan system simply becoming a hub of activity. Well, given that the rest of the card is so well done, I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt and giving this card a very high 4.6.
STOCKABILITY: We didn't really need another reason to seed Wormhole Negotiations as it's a high-point mission that encourages skill redundancy and can usually be solved for even higher points with mission specialists. Enter: The Barzan Wormhole. First and foremost, it's a good way to reach the Delta Quadrant with Alpha Quadrant personnel and ships, or vice-versa. Unless your opponent has stocked a Barzan Wormhole in their deck, they won't be able to "destabilize" yours. It can also double as a kind of Bajoran Wormhole, as it gives you access to the Gamma Quadrant too. Getting from the Gamma Quadrant to the Delta isn't very difficult either, since you can shift the Wormhole's location in those quadrants by playing a copy of the doorway from hand, shifting everything at its location as well. Passing through the Wormhole stops your ships, but shifting them with the location doesn't. And you can STP-drop ships of any denomination to the Alpha Quadrant (then traveling to another quadrant if need be) with up to 4 crew members aboard, again by using a copy of the card from hand. Don't tell me that's not useful. How about reporting a Klingon ship complete with all the Honor you need to solve the mission? Whether you're looking to bring your Federation ENGINEER deck to the Delta Quadrant, harvest organs or hunt prey in the Alpha, or shift entire armadas from the Gamma to any of the others, Barzan Wormhole is the place to go. It extends your RANGE, makes lots more missions accessible, and even acts as a reporting location (once per turn too). A very very cool 4.8.
TOTAL: 16.93 (84.67%) A great way to bring Voyager cards into the mix.
PICTURE: Very pretty lights from the subatomic side of a cup of coffee (or tea). You don't quite know what you're looking at, but you're not meant to (it's beyond human experience), and it's different enough from stellar phenomena not to be confused with it. A colorful 3.5.
LORE: Probably as scientifically accurate as the dialogue on the show, the lore here uses a couple of key words to tie it into the game text, such as "perceive" and "control", but that's about it. A 3.
TREK SENSE: If Trek Sense were adhered to, this card would be about something very different. I would allow your Ocampa (and possibly other psionically-gifted personnel) to peer into the subatomic world. What could that do? Stuff like boost your Physics or Exobiology skill, or nullify the never-to-be-released Q-Dilemma where Voyager is hidden in an atom-scape by Quinn. Controling these energies is better represented by The Power. No, what we actually get is a fairly well-done conceptual interpretation of the idea. Imagine your deck as the universe (in a sense, it's yours). Beyond the Subatomic purports to peel away the layers (each card, starting from the top) until you get to the subatomic (the card type you named). Well, Kes wasn't LOOKING for the Subatomic, it just happened to be there (to Tuvok's surprise), so the conceptual elements aren't that refined. Losing the game when you go too far actually represents Kes' situation regarding her powers. Anytime you delve into this kind of conceptualism, you're in for a low score here, but the ideas are good enough for a 2 (that's high).
STOCKABILITY: This is a last ditch effort card. If you really need something out of your draw deck, Beyond the Subatomic can get it for you, provided it's the next card of the type you name. Sometimes, that's easy to foresee, such as when all your Equipment cards are hand weapons, or when you only stocked one Doorway. I say last ditch because you may have to discard a lot of cards before you get to the right one. That, of course, doesn't matter if you do a lot of recycling. Putting Carlos and Dixon Hill together allows you to draw right from the discard pile, so it would be no loss, for example. The last ditch card can also be drawn in last ditch fashion with Kes' special download. So again, a good interrupt to call on when things are just not going right, in those cases where you're out an outpost, or waiting for a ship, or in need of a Q's Tent right away. Don't get left in the dust as your opponent gets all her cards quickly. Pretty defensive, but some decks could use the backup. The only way to lose the game here is to not know your deck. You shouldn't call for a card type that has been exhausted from it. A 3.7.
TOTAL: 12.2 (61%) Don't overlook the subatomic.
PICTURE: Well, though the color scheme is reminiscent of First Contact stuff (compare to Blended), and I don't mind the basic prop shot or the upholstered background, the pic's a little inappropriate, don't you think? This is a DISEASED Gel Pack from "Learning Curve", when Neelix's cheese gave the ship a biological infection. A healthy, working Gel Pack is clear blue. Looks like we're expected to install these faulty ones on our ships! Aesthetic points only to up to 1.5.
LORE: Technical, but doesn't dive into the world of techno-babble. Its replaceable nature might explain its appearance as Equipment rather than Event-represented technology (see below however), and they do try to hit a number of points mentioned in the game text. 3.3 here.
TREK SENSE: First, the card heralds a new direction for Equipment in that it represents an entire technological advance which would be difficult to install on a ship. Usually, these have been Events like Metaphasic Shields and Bynars Weapons Enhancement, but this and Ablative Armor make such things equipment. Ok, at least Gel Packs can be removed and theoretically installed on another ship. It's transportable technology (where the Armor is not, stay tuned). I don't really buy the cumulative nature of the Gel Pack, since you're either using Bio-Neural systems or you're not. There's no "number of packs" that can make a difference. Installing them on Intrepid classes is also a little silly if Intrepids are normally outfitted with them. It's like needing a card for warp nacelles that plays on ships that obviously have them already. At least they report directly aboard Bio-Neural ships, which means they're aboard already, but what... not installed yet? Voyager benefits from free reporting here, but for no other reason than its "miracle ship" status. There's nothing actually special about Voyager in this sense, and the fact it couldn't pick up Gel Packs at the next starbase should make Packs harder to get, not easier. And why only Intrepids (and the Delta Flyer which cannibalized parts from an Intrepid)? Picard mentions in First Contact that the Enterprise-E makes use of Bio-Neural technology. It would even stand to reason that all the newer ships (perhaps the Akiras) would be so outfitted. Ah yes, finally, what do Gel Packs DO? They boost all ship attributes by 1 (to a maximum of +3). This, I have no problems with since they make the ship more highly responsive which would make all systems more efficient. Unfortunately, the basic premise of Intrepids already using this technology regardless of its being recognized by the game throws off all estimates on Intrepid and Flyer attributes. You might think Voyager's attributes are Trek Sensical, for example, but aren't they all +1 to +3 from that since on the show, the Gel Packs were installed and functioning? Voyager should be -3 to every attribute WITHOUT Gel Packs then. Gee, thing really works with this card. Barely the 0.5 I'm giving it.
STOCKABILITY: Though transferable from ship to ship, not a lot of vessels can actually make use of it. A +1 to +3 boost to ALL ship attributes is actually pretty useful (see Wall of Ships, for example), and would make the universal Interpid up to 11-10-11, which is potable. Voyager really shines when using this, getting up to 12-11-11 with 3 Gel Packs which report for FREE (no reason not to use them with this ship) - not to mention the one it can download - then further being boosted with Captain's Log and Dedication Plaque (and Janeway or The ECH, of course) to 14-14-14. Oh, and throw in Stadi to get that RANGE to 16, why not? Another free report to Voyager is the other ship that can use this Equipment: the Delta Flyer. Your DQ crew can boost its effective RANGE by launching the Flyer with all 3 Packs (Voyager can report more for free anyway) with - and let's say all the above-discussed cards are still in play and Tom Paris pilots the ship - effective attributes of 13-13-13 with no further staffing. 16+13 RANGE gets you home pretty fast, I'd say. And the two ships so boosted together make a formidable target for aggressive affiliations. I wouldn't go near that thing. Simply used on Intrepids, it's a bit more slow-going, and not worth as much. On Voyager, it's good protection for the lost Feds. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 9.1 (45.5%) Just not convincing as an Equipment card.
PICTURE: An impressive angle showing off the relative size of the ship. The planet is alien enough even if using a real location, with its steep rock formation and bright white sky. The SFX on the small crewmembers isn't quite convinving, but fun. Much better than a blue panel shot at 4.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: When a Blue Alert is called, crewmembers must ready for landing. That was the big innovation of the Intrepid class (targeted), much in the same way the Galaxy had saucer separation (i.e. we never saw much of either maneuver). It IS a time-consuming maneuver, as we've seen, so the 2 Range required is sound. Ships without staffing requirements are also covered, as we've seen from other cards that these are smaller ships which can enter a planet's atmosphere with little trouble. Of course, there's a question as to why Blue Alert requires 2 Range of these ships while Establish Landing Protocols does it with only 1 Range. There is no reconciling this anomaly. I agree that Blue Alert should take some time, but small ships don't need to CALL a Blue Alert. The second part of the card has nothing to do with Blue Alert at all, though the effect is related. In this case, it allows shuttles to be carried aboard and launched from ships with Tractor Beams (the mark of a sizeable ship). This is just like Engage Shuttle Operations, but without the Engineer requirement. Does being on alert make an Ensign Bob report to the shuttlebay, no fuss, no muss? That was never part of a Blue Alert. The 3 landing cards don't agree on numbers, which is problematic, but the Intrepids had to be able to land somehow. That's pretty much the only addition to the game here, the rest being mostly confusion. No problem with this being a Captain's Order, none at all, but the anomalies keep this one at 3.2.
STOCKABILITY: The ultimate launch'n'land card, it's a little slower than Establish Landing Protocols, but combines its effects with Engage Shuttle Operations, which takes the real beating. To launch shuttles with Blue Alert requires an ENGINEER less, and gives those ships much quicker landing capabilities, all the while being seedable. ELP and ESO only keep their usefulness thanks to other cards, such as Hidden Fighter (which downloads them) and Launch Portal (which makes ESO cover Scout ships). Orbital Bombardment makes landing less attractive than it used to be, but for a transporter-less affiliation like the Kazon, it's still a good idea, and hasn't lost that much in the last expansion. Not only can landing your ship protect you from attacks, it's also a requirement on some missions, and doesn't open you up to transporter shennanigans like Barclay Transporter Phobia. The USS Voyager is uniquely suited to use this card thanks to its special download, and if brought into play at the start of the game via Caretaker's Array, can implement Blue Alert at that time. If you're not doing it that way, the card can still be downloaded via Commander's Office or Ready Room Door. In any case, no real need to waste a seed slot there. To get back to Voyager: with all the shuttles that can report inside the ship, like the Delta Flyer and Type 9 Shuttles (which works with all Intrepids), you'll want a way to launch'n'land. Landing's not for everyone, and neither is launching, but for players who use these, you might consider Blue Alert rather than those other two cards. In the Voyager environment, that's all you've got. A 3.9.
TOTAL: 14.8 (74%) Pretty standard card, but expected from the first.
PICTURE: Though the scene is a little far away from the viewer, it's clear and uses a nice color palette. The roiling smoke gives the pic a little more weight, and the whole thing is well composed. No problems here at 3.7.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: The big Kazon objective (though technically, other affiliations could use it if they ever got their hands on a boarding pod) just has to be a Hidden Agenda. You're not gonna warn your enemies you're about to do this. And it has a point box since it represents a goal which is not unlike a mission's. The fun thing here is that it allows a Boarding Pod to do what it was meant to do: ram a ship, penetrate its hull and unload intruders aboard. This destroys the pod quite naturally, though I'm amazed it would automatically succeed (it's a battle objective after all, and holds no guarantees, plus the Kazon had to blow a hole in the shields for the shuttle to pass through) AND that it doesn't cause damage to the target ship. I guess the Pod plugs any hole it makes in the hull, but it's still a pretty big shock to the ship's systems. The Kazon have their reasons to do this, in fact the reason(s) they developped this strategy, and so if they board a ship they may do one of the following: They can get to the transporters to beam more of their friends over (or themselves off). They can also steal technology (equipment) which they are notorious for (this is a reason to board a ship, so scores the points). They may also attempt to commandeer the ship (if cleared) and download that objective. Stealing a ship is a big deal, perfectly down their alley, so double points on this completed task. Gives the right flavor to the Kazon without too many snags. There are some bugs, such as ramming a shuttle with a shuttle and not destroying both, but a good 4.1.
STOCKABILITY: A great help to Kazon players, especially if your opponent is wandering the same quadrant (i.e. more useful in the Voyager-only environment). Who needs Invasive Transporters when you can ram your shuttles in opposing ships' sides? Well, it's not as strong certainly since the shuttle is then discarded (Invasive Beam-In isn't), but there are plenty of perks to compensate for this. One is that Kazon Shuttles may report directly aboard certain ships so that they are more easily brought into play. Another is that the Shuttle itself can download the objective (once per game no matter how many shuttles you use). Yet another is that boarding an enemy ship can net you... stuff! Your first instinct will no doubt be to exterminate the crew, and you can better do that by beaming reinforcements using the ship's own transporters. If things go wrong, you can use the transporters to escape. When you're finally ready to reap some points from the endeavor, you can discard the objective to either steal equipment that was aboard the ship (10 points!) and/or commandeer the ship thanks to a quick download (20 points!), using a the necessary number of copies of the objective. Overtaking a ship can thus net you 30 points pretty easily, by flipping or downloading 2 consecutive Boarding Party cards (Kazon Shuttle and Culluh can both provide the download). One card affords you 1) boarding capability, 2) stolen equipment and/or commandeered ship, and 3) bonus points. That has to be worth a 4.4.
TOTAL: 16.27 (81.33%) A Kazon staple.
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