Back when Star Trek 50 was being designed, we created a broken link.
There were a lot of ideas around what we wanted to create to help Starfleet decks. Although Protect the Timeline from Through the Looking Glass had covered the much needed second free report, there were aspects like where to report mission specialists, and the need to constantly go back and forth to Earth just to pick up new crew (which we didn’t see a lot of during the show) that we wanted to address. We also liked the encouragement of the “space first” concept (stolen from 2E Starfleet) which fitted with the nature of these early explorers. These ideas eventually became The Warp Five Program, however we couldn’t provide all these tools without some sort of cost, restriction, or limitation.
Again, drawing on the show, Enterprise was a lone explorer – no support from other starships (at least, not at first). This seemed like a reasonable caveat – but from a gameplay perspective held considerable danger from Cytherians, ”God”, Kazon battle decks, etc. To provide a thematic way around this, we added an exception (and a broken link) drawn from the show: shuttlepods. We knew the Enterprise block was just around the corner, so players wouldn’t need to wait long for this link to become “unbroken”. Shuttlepods, and a reluctance towards using transporters (as seen on the new objective Explore New World, were an essential part of Enterprise that we were keen to capture in Broken Bow.
One of today's new cards, Launch Bay, continues the themes begun by The Warp Five Program of fixing gaps in the Starfleet repertoire, gaining easy access to a Tractor Beam, and protecting against the dangers of your lone ship exploring the depths of space. But in addition to the traditional landing / take off / carried aboard functionality, it also allows you to download a shuttlepod to your hand (in place of a card draw). So you won’t need to litter your deck with shuttles to ensure you get one out when you need it (although you can if you want, as Shuttlepod Two is universal).
Shuttlepod Two also provides in-built functionality to report with crew (albeit just one personnel) to your NX-class ship – so if you were going to use your card play for a personnel anyway, the shuttlepod essentially becomes a free report. And an extra way to get personnel straight to the ship fits well with the existing mechanic on The Warp Five Program (especially if you couldn’t resist getting another NX-class ship into play).
The question is though… have we also produced a Shuttlepod One in this expansion? Or has Broken Bow produced (by implication) another broken link?
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