Captain's Blog: The Big Goodbye
Posted November 9th 2019 by dragoncymru1
“Tell me something...when you’ve gone, will this world still exist?” - McNary, ‘The Big Goodbye’

In my latest article for STCCG First Edition, I’m discussing everything hologram as I dive into using Holodecks, Holo-Programs and Holo-Personnel for the solo version in ways that may differ from usual game.

Holodeck Adventures: This expansion was originally scheduled for release in 1997 with exciting promo-mentions as far back as 1995 although players had to wait until 2001 until it was eventually released. I’m a huge fan of Holodeck episodes and although the trope of it breaking down was over-used in the early days of TNG, it did produce fantastic shows like ‘The Big Goodbye’ and ‘Our Man Bashir’, and allowed the regular cast and costume/set design to do something a little different and have some fun. I certainly remember not being able to wait for this expansion and designed loads of Dream cards back in the day that related to Programs (my new card-type I likened to Equipment) and using the Holodeck – sometimes getting very close to what was actually in the official expansion. Of course, the original 1997 expansion was going to just contain TNG cards – I’d love to know what Decipher had planned for it if anyone knows?

Holoprograms: The Holodeck Door plays exactly like it does normally (in my 2018 project, I had a side-deck called the ‘Holodeck’...) although note the Continuing Committee limit of 1 per Ship. There have been 8 Holoprograms released but with the exception of Cafe des Artistes (more about that card in a later article), however, they are extremely narrow and do not see much play. To make them more useful, I have added these rules:

  • Holoprograms may not be seeded. Only 1 Holoprogram may be in play per Ship or facility with a Holodeck.
  • You may discard any of your Holoprogram cards at the end of your turn.
  • If a Holoprogram is in play you may download and swap a matching Persona once per turn – so Worf may be swapped for Sheriff Worf if present with Holoprogram: Deadwood. Matching Persona can only be played, and remain in play, if you have the corresponding Holoprogam in play at the same Mission, Ship or Facility.
  • If you stop a matching Persona inside the corresponding Holoprogram, such as Sheriff Worf inside Holoprogram: Deadwood, you gain 1 point (limit 3 points per Persona per Holoprogram).

Holo-Personnel: Another solo tweak I use is to allow the Opponent’s matching Holo-personnel to report (but not download) directly to your Holoprograms, so Felix Leech, Frank Hollander and Chaotica can all leave the binder and see play and cause some strife, especially if Disengage Safety Protocols is on the table. This is a real advantage of solo play where you construct the Opponent deck so this could happen, as opposed to the very slim chance in a normal game. It makes running Holoprograms more interesting, mirrors the episodes on TV and balances the tweaks above. The Holo-Personnel function within the Holoprogram and can ‘attack’ any Personnel in there, as well as use any special abilities or downloads. There is a lot of scope to have a bit of fun in solo games with these rules – just like the episodes!

Dream Cards: I created some simple Holoprogram cards years ago (so I can get around my no ‘Dream cards rule’ as these are ancient...) all around similar Affiliation-based recreation:

Holoprogram: National Park (Incident)
Plays on your Ship with Holodeck. Stop up to 3 Human Personnel this turn. For each Personnel stopped either gain 2 points or draw a card. Discard Holoprogram.

Holoprogram: Valley of Chula (Incident)
Plays on your Ship with Holodeck. Stop up to 3 Romulan Personnel without Youth this turn. For each Personnel stopped either gain 2 points or those Personnel each gain +2 INTEGRITY for your next turn. Discard Holoprogram.

Holoprogram: Halls of Boreth (Incident)
Plays on your Ship with Holodeck. Stop up to 3 Klingon Personnel with Honor this turn. For each Personnel stopped either gain 2 points or those Personnel each gain +2 STRENGTH for your next turn. Discard Holoprogram.

Holoprogram: Pleasure Dome (Incident)
Plays on your Ship with Holodeck. Stop up to 3 Ferengi Personnel with INTEGRITY <5 this turn. For each Personnel stopped either gain 2 points or those Personnel each gain +2 CUNNING for your next turn. Discard Holoprogram.

Next time I’m discussing a new concept to introduce more Non-Aligned Personnel to the solo game, as well as ‘self-controlling’ Enemy Personnel... Follow me on Twitter too where I’m watching loads of various Trek episodes and Tweeting my views - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”