Captain's Blog: Lonely Among Us
Posted October 5th 2019 by dragoncymru1
“When our ship passed through the edge of this cloud, it accidentally carried off a sentient being...” – Jean-Luc Picard (possessed), ‘Lonely Among Us’

Welcome to my latest article on the CCG, where I’ll be detailing more ways to add more cards and variety to the game, introducing Artefacts and other house rules I use. And if there’s a better title for a solo series than this week’s, let me know – solo players are often ‘lonely among us’!

Encounter Cards: Planet/Space Dilemmas and any non-Dilemma cards seeded as Dilemmas, such as the self controlling Mercenary Ship and Combat Vessel, Doorways, Events, Interrupts and now Artefacts (see below) I’m now going to term ‘Encounter’ cards. I’ve added more cards to this ‘Encounter pile’ including two nicer Non-Aligned Ships that don’t attack you and 2 other non-Dilemma cards:

Yridian Shuttle
Discards to download any Personnel card in draw deck to a Ship or Away Team present.

Zibalian Transport
Discards to download any non-Ship, non-Personnel card in draw deck to a Ship or Away Team present.

Neutral Outpost
You or the Opponent may both report Personnel, Ships and Equipment here.

When revealed, a random ship present is relocated to a random Mission on the Space-lane.

Dilemmas: An alternative way to seed Dilemmas for the game is not to redistribute the ‘Encounter’ cards between the Planet and Space Dilemmas cards but to seed each Mission with 1 less Planet or Space Dilemma than required, then shuffle 1 Encounter card in with those Dilemmas.

If a Dilemma indicates that the opponent may download further Dilemmas (such as on Shore Leave or The Loss), then instead check the respective Dilemma pile that contained any Dilemmas that were un-seeded and if any listed Dilemmas are there, seed them at the Mission

Artefacts: These were originally designed as very powerful cards but as the game developed, they became a little diminished and seemed to depend on very specific set ups to make them work, such as Phased Cloaking Device. They still remain interesting however and are a good addition to the solo game but in small numbers and with an additional rule tweak (although I am currently developing a pair of dream cards to do this more elegantly – more news soon...) in that you gain 5 points if any Artefact is returned to a Facility where you have Archaeology. To limit the numbers, I only add a maximum of 3 Artefacts to a game. Most are placed as Encounter cards but an Artefact with an AU icon is instead placed in the Alternate Universe deck. If an Artefact is drawn at a Mission where it would be mis-seeded (most Dilemmas are encountered on Planet Missions for example), it is discarded and a new Dilemma drawn from the respective Dilemma pile.

Ignore AU icon. When earned (needing Tractor Beam in addition to completing the Mission), download from the Alternate Universe deck any Artefact and up to 3 Personnel.

Missions: For an additional challenge, instead of choosing 6 Missions that you want to attempt, instead draw 10 random Missions from a deck and then choose 6 from the 10 chosen. If a Mission allows you to seed cards, such as Atmospheric Ionization on Botanical Research, or a Hand Weapon on Search for Weapons, instead play it as a Download icon there.

Game Report: A recent ‘starter deck’ session saw the Romulans as the Opponent against my Klingons and was a completely different experience to a Federation game as it was very aggressive with each side out to kill the other. The Romulans opened hostilities playing an Espionage card on a Klingon Mission (Fever Emergency) and stealing 35 points. Not to be outdone, I retaliated with my Vor’Cha cruiser damaging the Romulan science vessel. So the Romulans beamed down to the planet and played Auto destruct on their ship to damage my cruiser! This was then just a matter of honor so the Klingons beamed down as well and started destroying the Romulans with a Personnel battle each turn. Since Korris also had Heart of Glory played on him, each Romulan casualty gained 5 points until the Deranas arrived as reinforcements. Terrific!

Next time it’ll be the introduction of another Doorway – the Ready Room Door – and a discussion of the Captain’s Order cards and how to tweak a few for solo play. I'm doing a re-watch of TNG and am currently in the middle of Season 6. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter- so if you're interested in what I think about Season 6, Follow me - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”