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Strategy Articles

February 2024 First Edition Game Changes Update

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

5th February 2024

Happy February, everyone! As today is the first Monday of the 2nd month of 2024, it's time to bring you the regularly scheduled First Edition Game Changes update. These updates give us a regular window to update the Modern Ban List, the Watch List, and issue errata; as they are always on the 1st Monday, you also get to know when to expect things. In today's update, we bring 6 cards back to Modern via errata, removing them from the Modern Ban List. One additional card has been given errata to accompany today's region/quadrant rules change.

Once again, I ask you to join me in thanking the hard working volunteers of the Department of First Edition. Our artists, balance experts, writers, testers, and rules masters work very hard to keep the game state happy and healthy; especially in the case of this month's update, which required a lot of "overtime" to get ready. Please give them a shout out on the forums to let them know they are appreciated!

But first, we have some program notes:

  1. We heard you loud and clear after last month's Game Changes announcement. Many of you were vocally against our actions, especially when it came to Holoprogram: Cafe des Artistes and Study Divergent History. At the same time, quite a few of you supported the nature of the action to adjust the power of things in the game. We take from this that we need to give you more warning of major changes, or provide another form of grace period so that your decks aren't ruined suddenly. We are aware of how little time we all have these days, and that our time invested into 1E is limited. We don't apologize for making changes that are felt necessary, but we do apologize to anyone who felt like doing so wasted your time. We will look for ways to better communicate intent to minimize this impact on your enjoyment of 1E.

  2. The annual Period of Review is currently taking place. If you are a voting member, you received an email on this past Thursday from OpaVote. I encourage you to vote, no matter how, to make sure your voices are heard. The voting is open through this Thursday, February 8th. Please go vote!

  3. This Saturday, February 10th, will be a live streamed event with a ton of information about Organized Play in 2024. There will also be some spoilers for upcoming 1E cards. Come join us to find out a ton of information and to get a first look at what 2024 has in store!

  4. Today's article will be the last one penned solely by me. Some of the other members of the 1E Executive Team will join me in taking turns to write these articles for you. This means there will be some different styles of writing from month-to-month, but you'll get the same information in each update. Please be kind to my new co-authors as they make their debuts in the upcoming months.

Now, let's get into the game changes:

Modern Ban List
After the bad news from January, adding cards to the Modern Ban List, today's update is all good news! 6 cards come off of the Modern Ban List via errata, including 2 that have been on the list for years: Breen Disruptor Burst and Sherlock Holmes! The other 4 cards - Holoprogram: Cafe des Artistes, I've Been Waiting for You, Orb Experience, and Study Divergent History - were on the list for just a month. Most of the changes are power adjustments and involve small wording tweaks. Though you can expect the efficiency of some of these cards to have dropped, they functionally remain the same as they did before.

The other 2 cards banned last month, Cybernetics Expertise and Make a Difference Again, are requiring more time to get right. They were tested along side today's errata for the other cards, but proved to be more difficult to tune to the desired power level. But don't fear, work on them continues. There are also 8 more cards from the Modern Ban List in our current errata testing file, so you can expect to see even more good news in the coming year. Of course, there are a lot more areas of the game to address, so you should expect some more bans as we take the time to fix things. Fortunately, there are no additions to the Modern Ban List this month!

Aside from the 6 cards above removed from the Modern Ban List, one additional card is issued errata today: Navigate Plasma Storms. As there are 2 versions of Breen Disruptor Burst, there are a total of 8 card faces on today's errata sheet. Here are the cards as well as what has changed:

Holoprogram: Cafe des Artistes
This card comes back from its brief stay on the Modern Ban List with the same function but at a reduced power level. While once you could use this 3 times each turn, now it's only useable once. We also took the opportunity to correct "per" to "each," so we're continuing to work towards more consistent terminology. This is a big change, but this card was also wildly more efficient than other, similar cards. It's still a very powerful way for some affiliations to get an early game draw, but this change does open up opportunities for different drawing engines to see playtime. Here is the new gametext:

Seeds or plays on your ship or facility with a Holodeck. Once each turn, you may stop your couple present to draw a card. Once per game, you may download a romantic partner of your personnel present, then discard incident. (Unique.)

I've Been Waiting for You
While this card retains its core function of exchanging holograms, it no longer allows unlimited swapping at suspends play speed. This breaks its ability to be a "cheater" during mission attempts, but still allows the card to be used to swap unique [Holo] personnel for any other [Holo] personnel in your hand. Here is the new gametext:

Once every turn, plays to exchange your unique [Holo] personnel in play with a [Holo] personnel from your hand.

Orb Experience
This interrupt has always had 2 primary functions, and that remains unchanged. The first function, giving the [Orb] icon to a personnel, remains the same (with very slightly tweaked wording). The second function was the reason the card was banned, as it allowed nearly unlimited peeking. Now, you can peek at a card just once per game per Orb you have. This substantially increases the cost of the card, but retains its powerful function. Here is the new gametext:

Plays on a personnel with INTEGRITY>6. Adds [Orb]. OR Plays if your [Orb] personnel is present with an Orb. Examine any one card in the game (once per game per Orb).

Navigate Plasma Storms
This card retains the same core functionality as before, but has been updated to reflect the new rules about Regions across quadrants. Here is the new gametext:

Seeds or plays on table. End of every player's turn, if any ship is in any Badlands (even [MQ]), that player must probe: [Interrupt], [Doorway]: Flare-up. All ships and facilities in space in any Badlands without 3 Navigation aboard are damaged. [Objective]: Maelstrom. All ships and facilities in space in any Badlands without 5 Navigation aboard are destroyed. [Event]: Plasma storms subside. Discard objective.

Study Divergent History
Similar to Love Cafe, this card returns with a reduced power level. In this case, there are a few more subtle changes other than just dropping the draw rate from twice each turn to once. This card can no longer be seeded or played on any headquarters, and is limited to just [MQ] headquarters. Additionally, we've taken the opportunity to clarify the personnel you have to stop must be your personnel. Here is the new gametext:

Seeds or plays on Guest Quarters OR The Intendant's Quarters OR your [MU] ship OR a [MU] headquarters. Once each turn, you may stop two of your personnel present from opposite quadrants to draw a card. Doubles point boxes of your File Mission Report in this quadrant (for opposite quadrant missions).

Sherlock Holmes
He's back! The Sherlock Holmes version of the Data persona has been banned since the inception of the Modern Ban List. Multiple tries have been made over the years to bring him back, but the scale of his original ability would dominate the games in which he appeared. Now, he still helps you keep up with the opponent, but at the rate of one extra card draw at the start of your turns. It's elementary, but in exchange for less drawing power, his prohibition against converting the draw to a download is gone. Here is the new gametext:

At start of your turn, you may draw a card if opponent has more cards in hand than you.

Breen Disruptor Burst
When this tactic was banned in November 2020, it was by far the most popular tactic in the game. The advantages of using it mathematically outweighed every other tactic in all but the rarest situations. In the time since its removal, the field of tactics useable tactics has improved - though there is still more room for improvement. This tactic has had its WEAPONS damaged removed and the HULL damaged lowered; additionally, the total attack score is lowered for all but the Breen. Here is the new card:

[Tactic] Breen Disruptor Burst
Attack: 1 Defense: 2
ATTACK bonus +3 if you have a Breen ship firing. Hit = [Flip][Flip]. Direct hit = [Flip][Flip][Flip][Flip].
Range: -2 Weapons: Shields: -2 Hull: -30%
Casualties: randomly kills one personnel (on a Nor, one personnel at site of opponent's choice).

Both the original version from The Trouble With Tribbles and the BaH! reprint are updated with the new gametext.

Thus ends the First Edition Game Changes update for February 2024. Please take the time to vote in the Period of Review if you are eligible to do so, and consider joining us on Saturday for a preview of the 2022 Organized Play season. All of us here at the Department of First Edition thank you for your continued support of our beloved game. Our next regularly scheduled game changes update will be on March 4th, 2024.

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