Captain's Blog: Home Soil
Posted December 21st 2019 by dragoncymru1
“Ugly Bags of Mostly Water – we try at peace, you do not listen. Bag who drilled in Sand of Home had to die.” – Velara lifeform, ‘Home Soil’

And there is no quote better than that! Welcome to my latest article on the solo version of STCCG First Edutuin where, I’m revisiting Artefacts, discussing some tweaks to a few cards such as the rather unique Terraforming Station that hails from this episode, and delivering on two Dream cards that I promised a few months back.

I’m quite fond of ‘Home Soil’ and it is clearly inspired by the The Original Series episode ‘The Devil in the Dark’. It also exemplifies one of the main advantages of First Edition as you can easily play as Trek terraformers if you want and really theme your game by creating crews and Away Teams that can complete Evaluate Terraforming and similar Missions. Or perhaps you want to combine this with Missions that need SCIENCE to study stars and nebulas with Astrophysics or Stellar Cartography? I never felt it was as easy to do this with Second Edition which is why I’m so much a First Edition player. Yes, First Edition could be way out and wacky sometimes but it felt so much like Star Trek.

Terraforming Station: A Station from this episode and a perfect example of how the early designers of the game weren’t afraid to do the occasional bizarre card. This was an example of ‘metagaming’ before the phrase was even coined. Since having an ‘Opponent’ like this doesn’t exist in the solo version, I offer:

Terraforming Station (Facility)
Seeds or plays on any unnamed planet or Velara III. If you have ENGINEER x2, and (Geology OR SCIENCE x2) present, score 10 points.

Artefacts: A few months back I wrote the article ‘Lonely Among Us’ that detailed how Artefacts play in the solo game. After playtesting, I’ve revised those rules so that Artefacts are now placed in the corresponding Dilemma deck, Planet or Space, depending on the Artefact. Most are placed in the Planet Dilemma deck of course but a few, such as Cryosatellite, are placed in the Space Dilemma deck. The reason for this is since I’ve restricted the number of Artefacts I include in a game (now 10% of a Dilemma deck) the chances of discovering one are small enough without the chance of a mis-seeded one being discarded.

The article also detailed my rule that to increase the usefulness Artefacts in the solo game I allow returning one to your Facility where you have Archaeology gains 5 points. To return to my mission statement about not changing rules however, I present my two Dream cards that replace that rule. Since not producing loads of dream cards unless necessary is another of my Mission statements, I’m not ‘placing’ these anywhere yet – although they ‘feel’ more like Deep Space Nine than The Next Generation to me:

Museum of Antiquity (Incident)
Seeds or play on your Facility. If you have Archaeology x2 + no Greed present, place beneath this card your Artefact currently in play (must be present if possible) or from your hand; score 5 points for each such Artefact beneath this card (limit 3).

Illegal Auction (Incident)
Seeds or play on your Ferenginar, Neutral or Non-Aligned Outpost or Ferengi Trading Post. If you have Archaeology + Acquisition + Greed present, place beneath this card your Artefact which is present or was played on table (or an Artefact from your hand); score 3 points and you may download one Gold Pressed Latinum here.

In my 2018 solo project, I also revised the Dig card from Homefront II as, although it is a hugely popular and powerful card, I felt it was unthematic so instead I had the card allowing Archaeology Personnel to search the Dilemma deck for Artefacts. Again, returning to my Mission statement and understanding that Dig featured in so many decks, I’ve resisted the urge this time around! I did toy with creating a new Dream card that did just that, called ‘Treasures & Trinkets’. I expanded the use to encompass a wider definition of ‘artefact’ that doesn’t just mean something you excavate from the ground, using the Second Edition ‘artefact’ skills of Acquisition, Anthropology or Archaeology to represent gifts or bought or stolen items. However, since this card uses the idea of a Dilemma pile which, outside a Dyson Sphere, doesn’t exist in First Edition, it would only function in the solo game and thus against the Mission statement, so I finally decided against it.

Next time, I’m going to focus my attention on ‘Coming of Age’, the expansion released by the TrekCC in 2018, taking a look at the cards and, more importantly, the four Affiliation Starter Decks they created.

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’ve just finished Season 1 of Discovery, which I really enjoyed. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter so if you're interested, please Follow me - @DWSSG01. Finally, I’d like to wish everyone who is reading this Blog labour of love, a very Happy Xmas!

“Make it snow...”