Captain's Blog: The Battle
Posted October 19th 2019 by dragoncymru1
“I have been waiting a long nine years for this, Picard! You murdered my only son! And I have spent these years searching, seeking proper blood revenge!" - DaiMon Bok, ‘The Battle’

In my latest article for the STCCG First Edition, I’m going to introduce the Battle Bridge side-deck into the game and the very clever Tactics cards that really enhanced Ship battles. I’m also going to discuss Infiltrators and how Personnel can be captured and then hopefully rescued in the solo game.

Battle Bridge Side-deck: Introduced in Blaze of Glory, possibly my favourite expansion for the game, the mechanic to vastly enhance Ship battles was a brilliant one (and I believe that the CC are looking into doing something similar with Personnel battles too – bring it on!). The new Tactics cards were a fantastic way in which to get some subtle strategies and thematic Affiliation differences into Ship battles.

When setting up the solo game, construct a single Battle Bridge Side-deck using between 6-12 Tactics cards for you and an equal number for the Opponent, trying to theme the cards appropriately for the Affiliations - Federation ships might have Phaser Banks or Photon Torpedo, Klingons would have Pulse Disruptor, Romulans get Plasma Torpedo etc ... I use a nice spread of Tactics ( max of 3) depending on the Affiliations in the game, plus a few cards that are good for either side, such as Target Shields. Used Tactic cards are placed face up underneath the side deck. When the side deck runs out of face-down Tactic cards, shuffle the face-up cards and place them face down again underneath the seeded Battle Bridge Door.

Ship Battles: Regardless of whether you are attacking or defending, you always draw 2 Tactics cards as normal (unless other cards like Make It So are on the table) from the Battle Bridge Side deck first and then choosing one to use in the battle. You then draw only 1 Tactics card for the Opponent or Self-controlling Ship. Resolve the Tactics cards and the resulting damage to the Ships as normal.

USS Stargazer: In this TNG episode, DaiMon Bok returned Picard’s old ship, the USS Stargazer, to him – whilst setting up a nasty trap for revenge, naturally! To mirror the episode more closely I offer a tweak:

USS Stargazer
When earned, need ENGINEER and Tractor Beam to repair. Return to Federation Facility to gain 5 points (10 points if returned by Jean-Luc Picard).

Infiltrators: This episode also introduces the first Infiltrator card with the Ferengi Affiliation’s Captain Picard. Infiltrators in the solo game operate in the usual way, but to speed things up a little and rather than needing any special cards, an Infiltrator may attack opposing Personnel present (obeying normal Attack restrictions) or steal a Ship that the Infiltrator may Staff alone. In both cases, the Infiltrator becomes exposed and becomes an Intruder. An Intruder may be attacked as normal and I rule that even Federation Personnel may do this but instead Capture the Intruder if they are defeated in a Personnel battle. It also seems that apart from a very few specific cards there is very little chance of an Infiltrator becoming exposed otherwise, so I’m ruling that if you have CUNNING present that is at least 6 x Infiltrator CUNNING, the Infiltrator is exposed automatically. I have also ‘added’ a Federation Infiltration icon to Romulan agent Selok from Premiere.

Personas: I always subscribe to the ‘no duplication in the universe’ rule, so if the Ferengi get their Captain Picard on the table, the Federation can’t play Jean-Luc Picard as they are personas of the same Personnel.

Rescuing Captured Personnel: Similar to exposure of Infiltrators, apart from the Rescue Captives card from the Alternate Universe expansion, there are very few other ways to actually release captured Personnel so in the solo game I have ruled that if a Captive is being escorted and you win a Personnel battle there (normal Attack restrictions apply) then the Captive is rescued. Similarly, if a Captive is aboard a Ship you may ‘threaten’ the Ship with battle against your Ship. If you have 2 x WEAPONS then the captive is released. Finally, if the Captive is held at a Facility or ‘off the table’, you may transfer X points (where X = 2x Skill Icons on Captive) to your Opponent for the release of the Captive who is placed at your Facility.

Next time it’s another side-deck being introduced as the irrepressible Q makes his entrance into the solo game and I’ll discuss tweaks to certain Q cards, including those Q cards from the Premiere set... I'm doing a re-watch of TNG and am currently in the middle of Season 6 as well as now being a good few episodes in of DS9 Season too. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter- so if you're interested in what I think about the episodes, Follow me - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”