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Strategy Articles

The Sky's the Limit: Goran

by Johannes Klarhauser, Ambassador

19th April 2013

Today's card, Goran, is a sort-of-conversion of an extremely versatile personnel that was once a staple Cardassian in Second Edition (2E), especially in Intelligence-based deck designs. With the arrival of the Groumall Team, which turned out to be tremendously popular with experienced and new players alike, Goran has seen less play time recently, mostly because he has neither Officer nor Treachery and thus cannot be affected by The Central Command, one of the most potent dilemma busters the spoonheads have in 2E. Fortunately, there are other employment opportunities for espionage specialists out there, and with the release of The Sky's the Limít First Edition (1E) players can welcome Goran to the fold.

While 2E Goran was never backwards-compatible, his 1E appearance follows many of the established conversion patterns for BC cards. Like other converted cards (see James Cream's article for more details on 2E-to-1E conversions), Goran has kept some of his characteristics, while others had to be adapted slightly to comply with 1E standards, but in many respects, 1E Goran is true to his original 2E self:
• He is still non-unique (or universal).
• He retains his useful [CmD] icon.
• Three of his four skills from 2E have made onto the 1E version: Medical now appears as Goran's classification, MEDICAL (as it's the only classification skill on the 2E card), Transporters is called Transporter Skill now, and the blanket Intelligence shows up as the affiliation-specific Obsidian Order.

However, there are also some deviations from the straightforward conversion path:
• His Infiltrator keyword did not survive the conversion process. While Goran's 1E lore identifies him as an "espionage specialist", there are no gameplay-relevant infiltration elements.
• He gains the Star Trek: The Next Generation property logo and thus benefits from the new [TNG] icon and the associated new Cardassian play engine, Taken Prisoner.
• His 2E skill of Biology is butchered in the conversion process and comes out as Anthropology in 1E instead. The loss of Biology is mitigated by the fact that there is a universal [TNG] [Car] support personnel that has the skill (Corak). Anthropology on the other hand has so far been unavailable on [TNG] Cardassians, and only the recently revealed Nador and now Goran bring it to the table. With dilemmas like V'ger, Linguistic Legerdemain, I Hate You or the new Hunter Probe around, an extra dose of Anthropology is probably not a bad idea.
• His "number of the beast" attributes of 6-6-6 across Integrity (usually the Cardassian's weakest attribute), Cunning, and Strength is an above-average spread in 2E and put him on par with most versions of mains like William T. Riker, Jonathan Archer, Benjamin Sisko or Kira Nerys. In 1E, he receives a boost of +1 to Cunning and Strength, which brings him to a very respectable 6-7-7, not too shabby for a universal personnel with three regular skills and...
• a special download: Cardassian Disruptor


This last aspect is a great example of how personnel design is handled differently in the two editions. In 2E, Goran's gametext was a good example of the typical Cardassian flavour: "wasting" resources. In gameplay terms, this translates to paying costs to use abilities on personnel or verbs by discarding a lot of cards, either from your hand or from the top or your deck, and a very limited access to their discard pile to retrieve those wasted resources. As somebody who is coming from Second Edition and is currently (...slowly...) trying to get into First Edition as well, this affiliation-specific flavour seems to be strangely missing on 1E cards, as atmospheric, storytelling gaming is usually associated more with 1E rather than 2E.

First Edition makes up for this with a different kind of flavour, though: for one, the pictures chosen to represent characters in 1E show, in my opinion, more variety, and the art team has never been afraid of using unconventional angles. In the past, this has resulted in memorable images like Reg Barclay, Miles O'Brien or Travis Mayweather. Goran is not a conversion of a backwards-compatible card, so art has decided to go for a slightly different image: we now see him not only holding his disruptor, but firing it. Action shot!

Another way of giving a card flavour is 1E's tendency to create a connection between the picture and gametext by letting a personnel download a piece of equipment that the character is handling: Lopez hands us a PADD, Corez likes his Kazon Disruptor Rifle, and Halok likes to play with some cheap prop that must have something to do with repairing things. In Second Edition, such downloads are much rarer by comparison, e.g., Tasha Yar (Weapons Specialist) never leaves without something to defend herself with, Kathryn Janeway (Regretful Leader) can grab any piece of equipment.

This special download has a heavy cost, in that Goran cannot trigger a Continuing Mission draw. However, the benefit of getting a free hand weapon in play is well worth if only because of the popularity of Denevan Neural Parasites.

At the end of the day, I'm sure Goran will find a good home in 1E and help Cardassians stand their ground against the other affiliations. I am only just beginning to get (back) into 1E, but a Sleeper Trap downloading Lower Decks- and/or HQ: War Room-pumped Dakol, Jasad, Goran, as well as a Disruptor and a Disruptor Rifle for them and let them pick a fight with Strength 19, 18 and 14 sounds like fun. How are you planning on using him in your decks? Let us know on the 1E Gameplay message board!


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