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A Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse

by Jason Drake, First Edition Card Designer

22nd April 2013

The countdown continues to the full release of The Sky's the Limit. We patiently wait for the opportunity to inflict casualties on our unsuspecting opponents; and today's revelation, Remat Detonator, is about doing just that.

Remat D

Following on the heels of Hunter Probe, this is the second dilemma revealed from the Deep Space Nine episode involving Silaran Prin and his violent vendetta against the Shakaar Resistance Cell. Philosophy question of the day: Are all vendettas violent? Or does it just seem that way because the non-violent ones are boring? As you probably know, work on this expansion began with a focus on the film Nemesis and, by extension, various Trek stories involving character pairs with an adversarial relationship (as represented by a nemesis icon). Because dilemmas are less interdependent than personnel, we were able to salvage a few that we liked after changing direction on the theme.

So what does the Remat Detonator do for me? More precisely, what does it do to my opponent? Let's recall the dialogue from the episode:

ODO: I believe she was killed by a Remat Detonator. It's a device programmed to scramble a transporter beam during rematerialization.

DAX: The [transporter] system is programmed to scan for Remats. So whoever did this has a sophisticated understanding of our security protocols.

KIRA: Then our security protocols are to blame?

ODO: It's not my fault. I'm an expert on generic security, not transporters.

KIRA: Chief?

MILES: I wasn't even here. Besides, this my Deep Space Nine incarnation. I'm more of an engineer than a transporter specialist. How about some appreciation for the defense system upgrades I provided?

Okay, I might've made up most of that. But you get the idea. Double transporter skill is not easy to come by. So this dilemma has a high probability of "stopping" your opponent's crew or away team as they pause to bicker about who is responsible for allowing a vengeful Cardassian to compromise their transporter security protocols. That alone gives the dilemma a good chunk of its value.

C Tucker

It also closes something of a broken link, at least to the twisted mind of this designer. Miles O' Brien (the Fajo version), Emory Erickson, and Charles Tucker III all have multiple levels of Transporter Skill which was previously useless (barring a journey to planet Talax in the Delta Quadrant). Indirectly, then, the dilemma should be a slight benefit to the somewhat limited Starfleet affiliation.

But for those who aren't so well equipped, the Detonator plays on the table. Then the real fun begins: Watch as a cloud of doom hangs over your opponent every time he attempts to beam his personnel. Savvy players will try to use up the Detonator by beaming groups of expendables. Was that Dr. Soong you just beamed? In your android deck? You must have another copy in hand. Maybe I'll wait....

With patience and a little luck, the psychological damage will have as much impact as the actual kill.

NowWBGT

If you're playing in one of the non-Block formats, landed ships can save a player by shuttling personnel to a planet surface without beaming. But in that case, you can pair the Detonator with Now Would Be a Good Time. Putting one after the other is almost guaranteed to halt a mission attempt and kill (or capture) one opposing personnel. And once you've pulled that off-- once your opponents begin to anticipate the combination-- you can take the cat-and-mouse game to the next level and follow a Remat Detonator with Cardassian Processing instead of Now Would Be a Good Time.

Finally, you may notice that the dilemma is phrased to affect personnel who "have just beamed". We can thank Jon and the Rules Committee for suffering multiple iterations of that phrasing as we worked to avoid unintended consequences. In gameplay terms, it makes the death happen at an unambiguous location (allowing the use of various triggers and preventions which depend on a personnel being "here" or "present"). More importantly, it means that the use of the Detonator won't stop you from overcoming a Tarellian Plague Ship. If your opponent decides to waste the kill after you've beamed over a MEDICAL, just shrug your shoulders and tell the Tarellians, "Hey, dude was alive when we sent him over. Must be your plague, right? See ya."
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