Captain's Blog: Arsenal of Freedom
Posted January 12th 2020 by dragoncymru1
“Peace through superior firepower. To be totally armed is to be totally secured. Remember, the early bird that hesitates gets worms.” - The Peddler, ‘Arsenal of Freedom’

Welcome to my latest article on STCCG First Edition. This week I’m detailing a new deck based around the Non-Aligned ‘mercenary’ theme that I discussed a few months back from the TNG episode ‘Gambit’, and putting it up against a Federation deck. Before that however, let’s take a look at the cards from the above episode.

Arsenal Cards: Apart from some Federation Personnel, the very useful Holo-Projectors has its origins here. There are also 2 unique Dilemmas created by the Continuing Committee – The Arsenal: Divided and The Arsenal: Separated. Both split your Personnel attempting the Mission and can be incredibly annoying to face. Finally there is the Echo Papa 607 Killer Drone, the automated defence system encountered on Minos. Strangely, in First Edition this is realised as an Equipment card, whereas it should be either a Planet/Space Dilemma, as Decipher did in Second Edition, or possibly an Artefact (as it is ‘found’ or bought). With my Mission statement in mind, less change is good so I’m tweaking it to an Artefact that is placed in the Encounter deck so it seeded at a Space or Planet Mission, as that’s how it was encountered in the TV episode – both on Minos and as an attack on the Enterprise.

Mercenary Deck: The Personnel all hailed from the TNG episode ‘Gambit’, such as Baran, Tallera and Galen, but I also added a few extra that fitted the same theme, such as Vash, Jaglom Shrek and Kivas Fajo. I chose 6 specific Missions for the deck – Plunder Site, Raid Ancient Burial Site, Seek Illicit Relic, Steal Technology, Market Research and Study Cometary Cloud. The ‘Warp Core’ card for the deck is Mercenary Raiders that plays on Raid Ancient Burial Site and allows a seed of a Mercenary Ship. I also played a Husnock Outpost there to gain a seeded Husnock Ship too. Two more Mercenary Ship cards, the Jovis and an Yridian Shuttle complete the Ships of the deck. I have decided that the deck is going to be aggressive so have also included various weapon Equipment cards and a couple of Latinum Payoff cards too.

To enhance the theme of stealing artefacts and plundering sites, I have added Dig and a few Artefacts, including the Vulcan Stone of Gol, to my Dilemma decks. To continue the theme further and include cards referenced or downloaded by Personnel, I also added Jaglom Shrek – Information Broker and Palor Toff too.

Game Report: I played 2 games of the Mercenary deck against a Season 1 The Next Generation Federation deck and both were great fun. Highlights were getting together a crew of Baran, Tallera and Koral plus some universal mercenary personnel all armed with a Romulan Disruptor, to successfully complete Raid Ancient Burial Site. To make the Mission even more sweet, I actually found the Vulcan Stone of Gol there (what are those chances?) so I discarded my Mercenary Raiders to gain an extra 15 points – gaining 55 points in 1 turn! Going on to complete Steal Technology and Plunder Site, meant that they won the game even though the Federation had completed Evaluate Terraforming (with Beverly Crusher who can do it alone) and Jean-Luc Picard had discovered his old ship, the USS Stargazer.

The second game had the mercenaries not having much luck, but the Federation even less. However, because they have 2 Ships in play at the start of the game, they did manage to get going and uncover a Betazoid Gift Box. This meant they could get some key Personnel on the table, including Galen, resulting in Jean-Luc Picard going on a captain’s holiday...

The main problem was an appearance of a Q-Flash in a Federation mission attempt. Not only did Kosinski get turned into a Q-type Android, but a Q-Net was put up in the middle of the Spaceline. Diplomacy as a skill is in short supply with mercenaries and since Picard couldn’t be played either, it proved a real barrier. To make matters worse for the Federation, they also opened an Alternate Universe Door and had an encounter with Maman Picard who threw their USS Enterprise to the far end of the Spaceline. This was very close to the mercenary Outpost so Kivas Fajo led the Jovis, a Husnock Ship and a Mercenary Ship on a joint attack on the Enterprise that resulted in the crew abandoning ship in an Escape Pod. Needless to say, the mercenaries won the game and the Federation deck simply ran out of cards in the draw deck

Next time, I’m creating another new deck that I mentioned a while ago - the Non-Aligned Borg Personnel from the TNG episode ‘Descent’ - and testing it against a Federation deck.

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’m currently a few episodes into Season 7 of TNG and Season 2 of DS9. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter- so if you're interested in what I think about both these shows, Follow me - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”