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Strategy Articles

Rules Update, May 2024

by James Heaney, Rules Manager (1E)

7th May 2024

Happy Tuesday, Trek players! The first Monday of the month is a regularly scheduled rules update, but it was deferred to Tuesday this month due to a holiday.

This month, all we really did was answer questions that we were asked, so, this month, I will follow a Q&A format instead of my usual rambling. You may follow along in the this month's Recent Rulings Document: RRD 2024-05-06.

Since these answers are all significant clarifications, I'm not using the usual "bold blue text" to mark the bottom line. However, please note that some of these answers are reversals of previous rulings, so it is worth skimming them to see whether we've reversed a ruling you have always treasured in your heart. (Whenever one of these answers reverses a previous ruling, I'll say so.)

Assimilate Species

Q: If I initiate battle with Assimilate Species, do I select a casualty at the end of the battle (since my [Bor] Borg cannot mortally wound)?

A: No. When anentirecrew or Away Team is unable to inflict mortal wounds, they can generate no mortal wounds at all during the battle, not even by selecting a casualty. (In this respect, Assimilate Species works just like Holographic Safety Protocols.

Q: Is Juliana Tainer's first skill dot a special skill, or four regular skills?

A: Her first skill dot is a special skill (which confers regular skills).

This is, technically, a reversal: Decipher ruled shortly after the Q-Continuum expansion came out in '97 that it's four regular skills bunched up under one skill dot. However, in the years since, the game has evolved a pretty clear definition of regular vs. special skills, and we think that old ruling is no longer precisely correct. Juliana Tainer's first skill is a special skill, which (like the special skill on Veznik) confers regular skills.

This distinction makes no difference for most cards. For example, Tainer is still stopped by Thorough Debriefing if she uses her Computer Skill to pass Ferengi Ingenuity (just like Veznick by The Three Vipers). The one card that seems to actually care about this is [Interrupt] Honatta.

Q: Does I Tried To Warn You just destroy the mission points, or does it also erase other points scored when the mission is solved?

A: I Tried To Warn You destroysall points scored when the mission was solved (or just after), including Assign Mission Specialist points and even Particle Fountain points.

Q: Where do I put my cards at a Mission II outpost?

A: Place docked ships and personnel aboard the outpost in a face-down pile directly in front of the outpost.

This question arose because the Rulebook and Glossary offered conflicting answers. One said that you should slide your personnel and ships halfway under the mission, pushing the seeded dilemmas halfway out the other side. The other had the answer we decided to go with.


Q: Do [Self] Self-Controlling cards have to play a Scan to initiate battle at [Univ] Nebula?

A: No. Since the Scan requirement applies only to both players ("you"), and [Self] cards are not controlled by either players, [Self] cards attack normally at [Univ] Nebula.

Q: What do [Self] Self-Controlling cards need in order to attack?

A: A [Self] card does not need matching personnel or a leader to attack, and may attack any affiliation, but needs usable WEAPONS and is subject to restrictions that affect all cards, such as "We Are The Metrons".

Q: Are fractional skills (e.g. Toral's [SD] Leadership x1/2) regular skills or special skills?

A: They are special skills (like Valeris's " [SD] Diplomacy -3").

This is another reversal of a Decipher ruling. We reversed this obscure ruling not just because it made sense for consistency with Valeris, but also because the GEMP programming team said it would make their lives marginally easier. We think that the only gameplay impact of this is that Toral is no longer a support personnel.

Q: When do I take my Duck Blind draw?

A: Your Duck Blind draw is an end-of-turn action, which you may use at any point during your end-of-turn segment before your normal card draw.

This is a reversal. For many years, Decipher maintained a subtle distinction between different kinds of end-of-turn draws: a card drawn "at end of turn" (for example, with 35th Rule of Acquisition) was an end-of-turn action that could be taken anywhere in the segment. A card drawn as "an extra card" or "an additional card" (for example, Duck Blind or The Traveler: Transcendence), by contrast, was considered part of your normal card draw and had to be combined with your normal card draw at the very end of the segment.

Very few players were aware of this rule. Moreover, cards that affected your regular card draw behaved weirdly because of this rule. For instance, some of you asked why the original printing of Make a Difference Again said "which may not exceed one card" on it? The answer was this rule. We decided it wasn't worth keeping, and now all your end-of-turn bonus draws work the same way.

See You... Out There

Thanks for reading! As always, please let us know if you see any errors, typos, or obsolete text in the rules documents. We are running behind on ordinary rules document maintenance, and we are trying to catch up over the next couple of months.

And be sure to tell us on the forums what you think of everything we've done this month. Hopefully you're happy, but, if not, we want to hear that, too. Until next month, we'll see you on the spaceline!

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