Captain's Blog: Symbiosis
Posted January 18th 2020 by dragoncymru1
“The suffering on my planet is too great. People are dying. It doesn't matter whether we're entitled to it or not. We must have it." – T’Jon, ‘Symbiosis’

I know of lots of CCG collectors who have the same view... Welcome to my latest article on the solo version of STCCG1e and to mirror the TV episode I’m discussing not civilisations that exist in ‘harmony’ but a deck based on the Non-Aligned Borg from The Next Generation’s ‘Descent’.

Symbiosis: There are only two cards, both standard Dilemmas, which come from this episode - Magnetic Field Disruptions and Ornaran Threat. I mainly remember it for being the show with a horrible and heavy handed ‘don’t do drugs, kids’ message and in which you briefly see Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar waving goodbye to the audience as this was the last episode she actually filmed after her death in ‘Skin of Evil’. It also features Merrit Butrick who was Kirk’s son David in the Star Trek movies and who died only a year later.

Non-Aligned Borg: Much more interesting, and still on the theme of ‘symbiotic relationships’, or rather the sudden complete opposite, is the mini-Affiliation of Non-Aligned Borg led by Lore and who was challenged by Hugh. These were created in The Sky’s the Limit Continuing Committee set with new versions of both Lore (The One) and Data. Four different universal Borg Personnel make up the ranks and these are joined by Lieutenant Crosis and even their own Ship, the Assimilator, and a Non-Aligned Repurposed Outpost.

For a deck featuring this ‘affiliation’ I added Dr. Soong and some Soong-type Androids, and allied them with Pakled Personnel and their Ship, Mondor, along with some easily staffed Combat Vessels. The Missions used were Foster New Collective, Investigate Raid, Install Emotion Chip, Mineral Survey, Investigate Incursion, and Samaritan Snare. Some Rogue Borg Mercenaries were naturally also included.

Game Report: All games matched the Non-Aligned Borg against a Season 1 TNG Federation. In the first, Lore hit the table on the first turn along with a succession of various Personnel that could complete Foster New Collective very quickly and discovered a Blade of Tkon there to gain a bonus 10 points when returned to their Outpost as Goval had Archaeology. Although the Federation managed to complete Samaritan Snare, they then had a Q-Flash which got the crew, led by Data, Geordi La Forge and Deanna Troi, into a fair mix-up of Q cards. The Borg crew used this delay to their advantage and completed both Treat Plague Ship (for their own selfish gains no doubt) and, appropriately, Investigate Incursion to win the game.

The second game was another win for the Borg with Foster New Collective, Treat Plague Ship and Mining Survey being completed. This time Dr Soong joined the rogues, although it was almost the Non-Aligned version of Data from this episode, but the Federation got their version on the table first. The Federation did manage to get to Test Propulsion Systems and deliver Admiral McCoy to a Diplomatic Conference (which would have been amusing as an episode), but the Borg triggered a Supernova Dilemma at the same Mission as the Federation Outpost, so I couldn’t get any further Personnel or Ships in play...

The final game saw me make the Borg as aggressive as possible, taking every opportunity to harass and battle the Federation and at the expense of completing Missions. As soon as the Borg had enough Personnel to staff a Ship, I would send it against the Federation and if the Federation Ship was bigger, I would instead beam down Borg Personnel to battle any Federation Away Teams. This led to a hugely entertaining, though anarchic game with lots of battles and casualties on both sides. Lore and Data are particularly fierce in combat, but I managed to eventually kill both for 16 bonus points (as they are ‘Enemies’ in my solo version) and got ‘my’ Federation Data on the table. I also saved up 3 Rogue Borg Mercenaries led by Crosis who beamed directly aboard the USS Enterprise and battled the crew which was a lot of fun. In the end, even though Dr Soong, his androids and some Pakled buddies completed Install Emotion Chip, the Federation won the game by first Investigating Incursion (though sadly no bonus points as the Borg they encountered there aren’t Borg Affiliation), completing Espionage Mission on Earth using HQ: Secure Homeworld for a cool 40 points, and using Beverly Crusher and Jean-Luc Picard to complete Plague Planet.

Next time, I’m discussing that evil entity Armus and all the various dilemmas related to it, the tactics of ‘red-shirting’, how the CCG can mirror an ‘episode’ of Star Trek, plus a look at ‘Class H’ planets...

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’m currently about a third of the way through Season 7 of The Next Generation and Season 2 of Deep Space 9. 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...”

Captain's Blog is a weekly series on Star Trek Customizable Card Game First Edition Solo Play. Read the whole archive here.