Captain's Blog: When the Bough Breaks
Posted December 15th 2019 by dragoncymru1
"The legend will die, but the people will live." – Jean-Luc Picard, ‘When the Bough Breaks’

In this article for the STCCG First Edition Solo Project, I’m offering a new dream card from this episode, a new way to select Missions for the game, plus a game report on clashes between the Federation and other Affiliations.

When the Bough Breaks: Not the best episode from Season 1 TNG as it contains the worst thing in genre shows – child actors in prominent roles! On the plus side it does have Jerry Hardin (who would later go on to play Sam Clemens in Season 5’s ‘Time’s Arrow’). The only 1 card from the episode is the Mission on Aldea, so I offer a new Dilemma dream card (that would make that Mission very difficult):

Steal the Children (Planet Dilemma)
2 random Personnel (3 if on Aldea) with Youth in Away Team or on your Ship here are captured unless rescued by SECURITY + STRENGTH > 24 or Mission completed.
(There are a fair few Personnel with Youth and this Dilemma could be quite nasty for the Federation.)

Mission Selection: As the number of available Missions in the game is absolutely enormous, a player can be forgiven for not knowing all their requirements and it can take a very long time to actually choose your 6 for the game. In the solo version you are choosing 12 it can take even longer. So I’m offering a quicker alternative that gives some choice from a more limited pool plus some randomness that gives a challenge.

This variant uses a ‘standard pool’ of approx 20 universal Alpha Quadrant Missions (no other Quadrant in the solo game for me just yet – I’ll leave that for later...) with no specific episode link. These are mostly from Starter Deck II or the Official Tournament Sealed Deck but there are more scattered through the various expansions and are usually multi-Affiliation or even ‘Any Away Team’. I then add ‘base’ Missions that are simple in their requirements, represent the flavour of my chosen Affiliation and that of the Opponent to add to the pool. The ‘Mission deck’ is then shuffled and 10 Missions dealt to me and 10 to the Opponent. 6 from each are chosen for the Space-lane. I then add 2 Space cards and shuffle in both Outposts and deal out the Space-lane. When an Outpost is revealed it is placed at the closest Mission with a matching Affiliation Icon.

Game Report: I recently had the time for 3 games in 3 successive afternoons so thought I would play as Federation against each of the other Affiliations – Klingon, Romulan and Ferengi. Since we’re going through TNG from the beginning in these articles, I decided that the games would, as far as possible, feature Ships, Personnel, Missions and other cards from there too, so my deck featured all my Season 1 TNG Federation Bridge crew plus Personnel that had a guest role in the season. I also wanted to include all the cards, tweaks, side-decks and features that I’ve been discussing these last 4 months too.

The first game was against the Ferengi since they were the first of the 3 Affiliations Picard and his crew encountered in the show. This was a straight-forward win for the Federation who luckily managed to get many of the Bridge crew and the Enterprise out in only a few turns and then Picard was delivered in a Yridian Shuttle. Completing 3 Missions including Encounter at Farpoint and returning the USS Stargazer to their Outpost meant they won the game with the Ferengi only completing Collect Sample.

The next game featured the Klingons. They made a brilliant first turn score of 40 points with Korris and Konmel (both from Premiere so they can play as Mission Specialists) completing Seize Freighter before their ship was destroyed by a Spaceborne Entity. After that however the cards weren’t kind to Qo’noS and the brilliant Federation Mission solvers completed 3 Missions – Establish Relations, Treat Plague Ship (where Admiral McCoy retired to treat the Tarellians) and Investigate Destruction - in as many turns. With 20 bonus points from Holoprograms and for killing Lore, the game was won.

Lastly, the Romulans made a return appearance and managed to get both the Deranas and a D’deridex Warbird out in a few turns – and each with a fair amount of Personnel. They completed Explore Interstellar Matter that was on the end of the Spaceline and encountered The Traveller. This meant they could take one of the Ships off the edge of the Spaceline and stole enough Missions to win the game before the Federation had really got going – especially when a Plasma Fire meant they had evacuate a Ship and maroon their crew.

Next time, I’m revisiting Artefacts in the solo game, discussing some Tweaks to a few cards such as the rather unique Terraforming Station and delivering on two Dream cards that I promised a few months back.

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’m currently just starting ‘Chapter 2’ of Season 1 of Discovery and the Mirror Universe.... I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter - so if you're interested in what I think about it, follow me - @DWSSG01.

“Make it so...”