Captain's Blog: The Last Outpost
Posted September 21st 2019 by dragoncymru1
“It will be Starfleet's first look at a life form... which discounting rumour, we know almost nothing about.” - Jean-Luc Picard, 'The Last Outpost'

Welcome to my latest article where I’m introducing the Ferengi to the solo game, discussing how the Affiliation might play, and a session report from a game that pitted the Federation against them.

Ferengi: When the Ferengi were introduced in the TNG episode ‘The Last Outpost’ they were hardly a big success and were quickly relegated from ‘possible threat’ to ‘comedy relief’. It took a while and probably not until DS9 and Quark were introduced before that description changed and they evolved into a culture that could be taken perhaps more seriously and with more depth.

In the CCG, the Ferengi were mostly ignored, except 3 Personnel in Premiere, until ‘Rules of Acquisition’ was released in 1999 – 5 years later. In fact, I remember making Dream cards of Ferengi Marauder ships due to their omission! Since then however, they have become a great Affiliation to play – even more with the CC’s terrific ‘The Next Generation’ expansion.

Ferengi Cards: Just considering TNG cards, it starts with a Ferengi Trading Post, a Facility that also allows a seeded ship. Their ‘Warp Core’ card is Ferengi Military Operations that allows free Personnel and has a nice bonus point score for various nefarious activities. Ferengi Commerce Operation is a great Objective to get Equipment like Ferengi Whip or even an Artefact (more on Artefacts soon) on the table, and Ferengi can complete Establish Trade Route easily. A Business Gambit is fun and to get aggressive include a few Latinum Payoff cards. Great Missions for Ferengi include Resupply Marauder (that also gives a bonus RANGE mod on your ships), Attend Mysterious Rendezvous, The Last Outpost, Revenge Plot, Steal Technology, Acquire Surplus Ships and Market Research. If Ferengi feature in the game, you could also theme the Dilemmas with Ferengi Ambush, a Dilemma that lets you download Ferengi Personnel, or Ferengi Attack – especially as a few Dilemmas are enhanced by Ferengi Personnel, such as Taar or Letek. In my Ferengi Starter deck, I’ve used DaiMon Bok and his ship, the Kurdon. He can download Thought Maker, but since the card has been totally nerfed with downloads on Warp Core cards here’s a Ferengi based tweak:

Thought Maker
Use as an Equipment card. You may control one opposing Personnel present as an Infiltrator until the end of your next turn then discard Artefact OR V Captain Picard and discard Artefact.

Playing Ferengi: Last time when I discussed Klingons and Romulans as the Opponent, I used Honor and Treachery to decide actions, with the Ferengi - it’s all about Greed! The Ferengi Opponent will always go for the ‘fast buck’ and the quickest point gain possible. This generally means solving Missions unless a situation appears where more points, or other gains, can be made – such as a card in the Ferengi hand giving a specific opportunity. However, the Ferengi can be an aggressive and duplicitous race too, so Commanders with Treachery and a powerful Ship might attack you if the odds are good.

Game Report: I recently play-tested a Ferengi ‘starter’ deck as an Opponent against a similar Federation deck and got completely squashed very early in the game. Although I started well and got a reasonable Away Team out to attempt Homeward on the second turn, an Outpost Raid took out 2 Personnel. This was followed by the Ferengi Opponent having the Kurdon Ship in the opening hand. This can download DaiMon Bok, who has a great set of skills that are useful in lots of Ferengi Missions. Also, with a D’Kora Marauder already seeded on the table, the Opponent could set up a nasty 2-ship blockade that could be ready to pounce on any Federation ship whenever they ventured out to do a Mission and since DaiMon Bok has Treachery x2, I ruled that’s what he’d do! They managed to get a Plasmadyne Relay on their Kurdon to increase their Range for Missions, and laid down a few Anti-Matter Pods to harass my ships for good measure – although I did manage to Establish Relations with a nearby system. The Ferengi just did really well with their Missions, investigating an old T’kon outpost, stealing Federation technology from Gamma Tauri IV. Quark even managed to sell some old Klingon ships from a disreputable salvage yard – clearly with no questions asked... A really good game, even if I lost, as it told some good stories along with it, and felt very true to Star Trek.

It’s an important post next time as I’ll be introducing the first Doorway in the solo game and discussing how we can venture into time travel, other dimensions, parallel realities and the Alternate Universe... 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...”