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Rules Update, June 2024

by James Heaney, Rules Manager (1E)

10th June 2024

Hey, pallie! The first Monday of the month is a regularly scheduled rules update, but it was deferred a week this month to line up with Balance (which needed a little extra time with Art).

I'm just gonna dive in, trying to move more or less from the most impactful to the least impactful items. As always, substantive changes are in bold blue text. Here's the RRD: RRD 2024-06-10.

So'wI' TAH!

"Playing Only"

Most of the community seems pretty excited about Lifesigns, which features a couple of Vidiian cards that require you to be "playing only [Vid]." We thought we published the definition of "playing only" four years ago, when we approved it, but apparently we did not. That definition is out today. Before we get to that, though, a quick recap of what it means to be "playing" an affiliation in the first place.

You are playing an affiliation (or faction) if you control (or have controlled) any cards in that affiliation, or if you have used any multi-affiliation cards in that affiliation mode, at any point during the game. So, if you play a Klaestron Outpost in [Car] Cardassian mode, then immediately switch it to [Fed] Federation mode and leave it there for the rest of the game, you are still "playing [Car] ." Unlike Continuing Mission, this includes cards that you seeded, or which you bring into play via persona swaps. Simple enough, right?

However, there are exceptions to this:

These exceptions are a bit of a mouthful. That's one reason why we were hesitant to add a new exception today; we wanted a more elegant solution. However, we think that these exceptions are intuitive: "playing an affiliation" basically means playing a deck that uses that affiliation.These exceptions prevent unintutive situations where you could end up "playing an affiliation" without actually using that affiliation. I'd like the rule to be simpler, but, as I often say to the Rules Committee, better to have a complex but intuitive rule than a simple but unintuitive one. (I think I stole that from Jason Tang.)

Now, what about playing only an affiliation? You are playing "only" an affiliation (or faction) if you are playing that affiliation and all the cards you control (or have controlled) belong to that affiliation (with the same exceptions as before). If you have an all- [Fed] deck but you play that Klaestron Outpost in [Car] mode for even one second, you are no longer "playing only [Fed]."

You might ask, "Wouldn't it be simpler to define it as 'playing that affiliation and not playing any other affiliation'?" This was our first idea, but it created problems with factions. For example, if I play Regent Worf, I am automatically playing both [KCA] and [Kli] . If we wrote the "playing an affiliation" rule that way, anyone with a faction icon would break every deck. So we had to massage the definition a little, and ended up here. It seems to work.

"Any Miles" / "Any Sisko" / "Any [Persona]"


For several years now, ever since the last time we touched the "any" rule, there have been blurry lines around who counts as "any Jake" or whatever. Is Falcon "any Miles"? Is Joran "any Sisko"? Is Tom Son of Owen "any Tom Paris"? Is David Marcus "any Kirk"? And so forth. Vic's Reunion players need to know! This all goes back to other, older questions about characteristics, and the sometimes-fine lines drawn between them: is Vedek Dax a Vedek? Is Patrol Ship a shuttlecraft? Is Selok a Vulcan? (The answers are yes, no, yes.)

The framework we put forward last time was not working. It was too complicated and too hard to adjudicate. So, today, we introduce a shortcut: if a card's lore has a characteristic in bold text (even bold italic), then it has that characteristic, regardless of any of the other "characteristics considerations". Falcon is therefore "any Miles" because he has "Miles O'Brien" in lore. Ditto Joran, ditto Tom, but not ditto David Marcus. Eli Hollander and Frank Hollander stay the same: they were not "any Data" yesterday and they still are not today.

The weirdest outcome of this ruling that we've found is that Ezri Dax now qualifies as "any Jadzia," but that slightly odd quirk (which can be justified with TrekSense) is well worth the gain in players knowing whether the cards they have can meet the requirements they're facing. We hope this helps. Sorry it took so long.

Protection Racket

Protection Racket and Hero of the Empire

Rules was asked to make an official ruling about an interesting deck that started with a standard Stop Kirk Contact setup (Tribble Bomb, Hero of the Empire, Deep Space Station K-7, etc.), then used Protection Racket to force a player to either concede the game or risk the death of Captain Kirk. The question certified to us was: if my Protection Racket forces opponent to probe, and the probe result causes my Protection Racket to kill Captain Kirk, is that an "action my opponent initiated" for the purposes of Hero of the Empire?

After a spirited debate in which my own mind was changed, we concluded that the answer is "no, you can't get Timeline Disrupted in 2366 using your own Protection Racket." A Protection Racket kill is initially set in motion by an orders-phase action by you, not your opponent (the "threat"). The proximate cause of the death is Protection Racket's own gametext -- and that's your card. Rules has not fully settled on which matters more for responsibility, the most remote cause or the most proximate, but we agree that the fact that opponent is forced to draw a card in the middle of that causal chain does not make it "an action your opponent initiated," any more than if you had your Captain Kirk initiate personnel battle and opponent were forced to select him as a casualty at the end of the battle.

We had a similar problem with Mona Lisa years ago, and we eventually settled that by saying that the card that actually did the deed is the card that gets blamed (and that card's controller suffers the consequences). Today, we extend that ruling to Protection Racket. This was an admirable attempt to sneak through the loophole, but we just don't think it wriggled through.


Prepare the Prisoner

There was a thread last month about the definition of "capturing-related." This phrase, used on two cards (Prepare the Prisoner and Internment) and defined by rule, has for many years included a "cascade clause": any card that names a capturing-related card becomes capturing-related, too. This leads to weird situations like I.K.S Raptor being identified as a capturing-related card, even though there's nothing on it about captives. This violates a cardinal rule of 1E: the rules can require you to carefully read the card in front of you, but we cannot require you to read other cards that aren't in front of you, which might not be in your deck, and which perhaps you've never even seen.

The cascade effect actually used to be even worse, because it was recursive, which made huge swaths of cards "capturing-related." We curtailed that in 2015 (details here). Today, we curtail it further: we are cutting off the "cascade" component altogether. Here is the new definition:

Capturing-related: This refers to any card that says "capture," "captive," or any derivative in gametext or title (not lore), even when referencing another card (for example, Number One is capturing-related because her gametext includes "Rescue Captives").

This new definition is more in line with the definitions of similar terms like "Empok Nor-related" and "male-related" and we think will cause less looking-things-up at the table. Keeping things in line with other definitions is why we did not follow public suggestions to add "brig" and/or the [Punishment] icon to this definition, even as we pretty blatantly appropriated Franklin Kenter's wording suggestion otherwise (thanks, Franklin!).

There's no denying that this is a change. Yesterday, there were 133 capturing-related cards in the game. Today, there are only 88. However, of the 45 that were eliminated, 38 were personnel or ships, and they lost the status almost entirely for the same reason that I.K.S. Bounty lost it: they downloaded a capturing-related card. The other 7 cards that are no longer considered "capturing-related" are: Secret Prison, Internment Camp 371, Emergency Evacuation, Expert Pilot, Hirogen Hunt, Holoprogram: Noah's Mountain Retreat, and For Cardassia!.

We don't think this affects any actual decks. Prepare the Prisoner and Internment are very rarely used, and the decks we checked that did use them didn't seem to be counting on any of combining them with any of these cards. But it's a functional change, so worth announcing clearly.

Next couple are just straight Q&A:

Q: If someone beams aboard a stopped ship, does that personnel become stopped?

A: Yes.

The "stopped" section in the rules has been flagged many times over the years as a particularly confusing bit of the rules. Partly, this is because the definition of "stopped" is different (and more comprehensive) for our brothers and sisters in Second Edition. It's also because the "story" didn't quite match the "rules." The story of "stopped" said that stopped cards couldn't do anything... but, in fact, stopped cards can do all kinds of things. They just can't move, attempt, or attack. We rewrote that section of the Rulebook today, in hopes of making things a little easier on players who just aren't quite sure what a stopped card in 1E can do.

(You'll have to let us know whether we succeeded.)

Q: Can I play Transwarp Hub, as a card play, at Intelligence Operation?

Transwarp Hub

A: Yes.

Transwarp Hub can obviously only seed in the [DQ] Delta Quadrant, where it is native. However, under current rules (always an ominous phrase), outposts can be played (or "built") later in the game in any quadrant, regardless of nativity. Transwarp Hub, specifically, plays at "any Nebula." Intelligence Operation is a nebula. However, Intelligence Operation is also a homeworld, and, by general rule, you cannot ordinarily place outposts at homeworlds. The question here was, which rule wins out?

We judge that Transwarp Hub's broad wording ("any nebula") is specific gametext that overrides the general rule about outposts at homeworlds, by the Golden Rule ("cards beat rules"). You can therefore play it at the homeworld. This has been a temporary ruling for a while, but is today made permanent.

Fun fact: the same is true of Nekrit Supply Depot, which can seed at the new Vidiian homeworld (Rebuild Society / Vidiia) if Vidiia is adjacent to the Nekrit Expanse.

Nekrit Supply Depot

We have some ideas about how to make outpost rules clearer, but we will have to see whether any of them come to fruition over the long term.


There has been some discussion recently about how the "former affiliation" of a Borg counterpart isn't really clearly defined (which also affects "matching counterpart"). We fixed that this month, and also rewrote the entire entry to fit better into the rules overall. We also added an official list of affiliations to the appendix of the Glossary, because it is otherwise pretty hard to find the official, legally-binding list of affiliation names (which, until now, has only existed under affiliation in the Glossary)

There are no functional changes here, just surprisingly heavy cleanup.

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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